As technology advances, many scientists believe the human race is coming closer than ever to a cure for cancer. News stories hit the internet frequently boasting new treatments or even cures for cancer, but they never seem to amount to anything. This is often due to the time it takes before human trials begin and funding needs are met. But that doesn’t mean all those huge “cure for cancer” headlines are wrong.
While a cure for cancer in general may never be found since cancer is made up of more than 200 diseases, the medical field seems to be only inches away from exceptional cancer treatments at every turn. Here are the top four possible cancer cures that humanity could see in the near future.
Stem cells. According to the Science Times, Harvard researchers have found a way to use stem cells as weapons against cancer. Stem cells are especially valuable because they have not yet been assigned a particular task in the body like other cells, which Harvard scientists have used to their advantage by transforming stem cells via genetic engineering into cancer-killing machines. The cells can then secrete toxins that only damage brain cancer cells, without harming healthy cells.
“It shows you can attack solid tumors by putting mini-pharmacies inside the patient which deliver the toxic payload direct to the tumour,” said Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London. “Cells can do so much. This is the way the future is going to be.”
Artificial intelligence. While some believe artificial intelligence could spell doom for the human race, the Boston-based company Berg believes it can be used to find the cure for cancer. According to Fortune, a team of scientists, programmers, and technicians have spent six years perfecting an artificial intelligence platform that they believe can solve the cancer problem virtually on its own. Berg has already developed a new drug as a potential cure for cancer, BPM 31510, which is now going through clinical trials.
Nanoparticles. Here’s one of those stories that seemed exciting years ago, but slipped into obscurity shortly after. Teenager Angela Zhang was awarded $100,000 for possibly finding a cure for cancer using nanoparticles. According to Business Insider, Zhang’s concept involves mixing cancer medicine with a polymer that attaches to nanoparticles. The particles then attach to cancer cells, allowing physicians to pinpoint exactly where the harmful cells are in an MRI scan.
“At the heart of my nanosystem is the drug delivery capabilities,” Zhang said. “My nanoparticle was designed to be preloaded with a cancer drug that would be released directly and selectively at the tumor site to eradicate cancer cells.”
Zhang’s potential cure for cancer completely eliminated cancer cells in rats and is now awaiting human trials.
Protein blockers. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Stanford researchers may have found a miracle cure-all to all types of cancer cells. The drug blocks a protein called CD47, which orders the body’s immune system not to destroy healthy blood cells or inhibit their production, according to Science Mag. Cancer cells can trick the immune system into ignoring them, but this drug helps to stimulate the immune response into recognizing cancer as harmful and eliminating it — resulting in a promising cure for cancer.
“What we’ve shown is that CD47 isn’t just important on leukemias and lymphomas,” said biologist Irving Weissman. “It’s on every single human primary tumor that we tested.”
It could be years before a true cure for cancer is fully developed, but there are countless researchers working to solve the problem. For now, early detection is essential to increase chances of survival.
[Image credit: Getty]