A growing number of cancer patients, especially those with breast and lung cancers, are being spared chemotherapy and are able to explore other options. For decades, chemotherapy has been the best option when treating cancer. However, it is a blunt instrument. As well as killing cancer cells, it kills a lot of other cells and makes the patient vulnerable to other diseases and infections. The great news is, a growing number of cancer patients are being treated with alternative treatments.
The critical development is that genetic tests can now reveal whether chemotherapy would be beneficial. This saves a number of patients from having to undergo the difficulty of chemotherapy only to discover it was not effective. On top of this, there is an ever-expanding group of drugs – including drugs that destroy cancers by attacking specific proteins – that offer oncologists an alternative to chemotherapy.
This is the start of some really exciting developments in the biotech space. If many of these new technologies can live up to their promise, they could offer better treatments for the hundreds of thousands of people that are forced to start chemotherapy every year.
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