Chemotherapy has for many years been one of the leading focuses of oncology. All the while it is constantly being improved through the development of new drugs, which are more effective and better tolerated. The administration of these drugs into the patient’s body are also being improved. Let’s have a look at the main innovations in chemotherapy that have developed in the world over the recent years.
Innovative chemotherapy techniques
Chemotherapy uses toxic substances to suppress tumour growth. Unfortunately, chemotherapy drugs affect both tumour and healthy cells. The latest developments in the field of chemotherapy enables the drug to affect only tumour cells.
In 2016 the world saw a new and effective drug for gallbladder cancer treatment. This drug acts through the stimulation of the immune response. The drug has already been tested and approved by the FDA. The patients who participated in the clinical trials conducted in the USA, Europe and Canada noted only mild side effects of the drug: mild weakness, diarrhea, itchy skin. In comparison with the previously used cytotoxic drugs, these side effects are very minimal. In addition, many patients experienced tumour shrinkage or even its complete disappearance due to the activation of the immunity.
The students of the Washington University developed special calcium carbonate nanoparticles, which can raise the local pH around the tumour. The fact is that the growth of cancer cells requires a low (acidic) pH in the tumour area. The use of such nanoparticles is also beneficial because the substances that make up the composition do not harm the body. During the studies on mice these nanoparticles were injected into the tumour tissues. As a result, a neoplasm has stopped its growth and could not metastasize. Avik Som, one of the participants of the project, stated that this is how cancer can become a chronic condition. However, the problem of drug delivery to the target tissues has not yet been resolved.
A Swedish pharmaceutical company has invented a remedy that can prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. It aims to reduce the intensity of division of the cells in the scalp and thus to reduce the number of target cells for chemotherapy drugs.
The system works like this: the patient puts on a special cap that cools the scalp to a certain temperature. As a result, blood vessels in the scalp become narrowed and blood flow supplies it with a reduced amount of toxic chemotherapy drugs preventing total hair loss. The system has already been approved by the FDA.
After chemotherapy patients are prescribed a drug for leukopoiesis (formation of white blood cells) stimulation. It usually requires a slow drop-by-drop administration in the blood flow and therefore patients have to lie under a dropper for several hours. There was also offered a special injector, which is a small device with a reservoir for medicine. It can be attached to the upper arm and administer the drug with a set frequency.
The surgeons at German hospitals use HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) to treat colon cancer. It involves a peritoneal lavage with a sterile solution of chemo drugs heated up to 42 °C immediately after the surgery. The procedure lasts for about 30 up to 90 minutes and kills cancer cells because, unlike healthy cells, they are more sensitive to heating.
An additional advantage of this method is a direct contact of the tumour with the chemotherapy drug and an ability to apply it locally without poisoning the body, as with intravenous administration. Although this is not a standardized technique, it provides good results as confirmed by both research and experienced, leading German oncologists.
Chemotherapy in Russia
Nowadays Russia provides a significant boost to the development of chemotherapy. The country uses modern drugs and techniques to treat cancers. The Cancer Centres of the major Russian cities offer a variety of services, one of which is mapping of the genetic tumour and detection of the “target genes”. Thus, one can choose the most specific drug for this tumour.
Nevertheless, cancer treatment in Russia is far from perfect. That is the reason why most wealthy or health conscious people try to seek cancer treatment abroad. In countries like Germany, it is much more likely to increase one’s life expectancy or achieve complete recovery. The very latest chemotherapy methods, used in Germany, are still not available in Russia.
Chemotherapy in Israel
Chemotherapy in Israel undergoes constant innovation. Today Israeli physicians are focused on finding a way to deliver chemo drugs into the tumour locally, which reduces the toxicity of these drugs on the body, while still allowing the use of a drug with a higher concentration. The devices for intrathecal, intrapleural and intraperitoneal drug administration are still being developed.
In addition, the developments aim to find non-toxic drugs combined with nanotechnology, which will be able to deliver medicine directly to the tumour tissue and administer it right there.
Chemotherapy in Germany
In Germany chemotherapy involves all kinds of medical developments. Here doctors use the most advanced drugs, which have a low toxicity and fewer side effects. Chemotherapy is combined with immunotherapy, targeted therapy, photodynamic therapy and other ways to increase the overall effectiveness of cancer treatment.
Germany already uses the very latest routes of drug administration: selective drug administration, automatic dosing, chemoembolization. Different topical medicines are used, including ointments and suspensions. If necessary, the drug can be instilled in the body cavity affected with a tumour.
What hospitals can treat cancer?
Many German hospitals have Cancer Centres where patients can receive high quality medical care. Special attention should be given to the Clinic of Advanced Biological Medicine.
This Healthcare facility has the following features:
- Doctors use not only conventional, but also alternative treatments.
- The focus is placed not only on the efficiency of the therapy, but also on its safety and tolerability.
- During the treatment the doctor relies not only on the achievements of modern pharmacology, but also uses the power of nature and the ability of the human body to self-heal.
The Clinic of Advanced Biological Medicine often treats patients who have already tried all conventional cancer treatments which have failed to yield the expected outcomes.
Arrangement of treatment abroad
Patients should definitely go abroad to take advantage of the latest advancements in oncology and chemotherapy. Many patients prefer treatment in Germany because of it’s advanced treatment methods that do not exist even in most first world countries.
Use the free online platform Booking Health to find a suitable hospital. In our database you can find more than 250 healthcare facilities specializing in various medical focuses. We have direct contracts for all of them. Here you can see both real and current costs of the treatment programmes.
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Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!
Author: Dr. Nadezhda Ivanisova