Breast cancer mortality rates have been steadily declining in recent years due to a greater emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and an increasing number of technological advancements. Two advancements discussed below have shown promising results.
Nanocargo, a new breast cancer therapy developed by Wroclaw University in Poland won the “Innovative Science” Prize in 2020 because of its ability to use both nanoparticles and biologically active agents to deliver localized treatment to cancerous tumors. Researchers used nanoparticles to target only the cancerous cells--avoiding the healthy cells in the area. The treatment also uses light and a magnetic field to overheat the cancer cells, destroying them in a matter of minutes. As a result, this novel technology will allow patients to avoid undergoing more invasive medical procedures such as full mastectomies or “partial lumpectomies.” It also has the potential to effectively detect cancerous cells at an early stage which can lead to a decrease in breast cancer mortality. While Nanocargo is not yet approved for general cancer treatment usage, the scientific community seems to agree that nanoparticles are a promising new treatment for breast cancer. While promising, further studies must be conducted to identify any potential side-effects before moving to clinical trials.
Wilks, Jeremy. “How does Nanocargo breast cancer technology differ from current therapies?.” EuroNews (2020). https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/23/how-does-nanocargo-breast-cancer-technology-differ-from-current-therapies
The European Commission. “Innovative Science 2020” (2020).
Early Screening Advancements
A significant number of recent scientific studies show that using steroid hormone receptors during breast cancer imaging can more effectively diagnose some types of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Steroid receptors can also be a potentially useful tool to help doctors find the best drug therapy to treat tumors. While, at present, this technology has only been approved for use in France, applications are currently being reviewed for approval by regulatory advisory boards in several countries including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The findings of these studies were also sent to Health Canada for review.
Kumar, Manoj, et al. "Recent Advances in Imaging Steroid Hormone Receptors in Breast Cancer." Journal of Nuclear Medicine 61.2 (2020): 172-176.