Each year, thousands of researches are on going backed up by thousands of fun runs, drives, and fundraisers focused on finding the cure to diseases. What this means is that we are likely to see the cures to some troubling diseases during our lifetime.
Heart disease is a troubling disease. But new technologies may make it possible to predict, prevent, and possibly “cure” heart disease including treatments that seek to remove the underlying inflammation that sets the stage for heart disease.
The good news is that a cure for this degenerative memory-robbing brain disease may be within human reach. With more treatments in clinical trials than ever before, better diagnostics and a solid scientific understanding, there is the likelihood that a cure is in the offing.
One big challenge researchers have faced is the absence of measurable markers for the disease. The aim is to have a simple, less expensive blood test that would allow doctors to more frequently screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease.
Ideally, such tests would identify the disease in its early stages, before patients develop symptoms of dementia. This would enable both prevention and treatment.
Researchers are also excited by new treatments, including those that help reduce the buildups of the plaque in the brain that can lead to dementia in people with Alzheimer’s, such as gene therapy.
Leukemia and lymphoma
Leukemia and lymphoma are blood cancers and scientists believe “some are already essentially cured. Sometimes the disease goes away altogether when treated and other times medicine can be used to keep the cancers in check, the same way it is done for diabetes and HIV, the AIDS virus.
Some women have had breast cancer for 15 to 20 years who are still doing well. Chemotherapy or hormonal treatments are mostly used to keep cancer in check. However, researchers are starting to realize that everything we call cancer may not need to be cured because it is not a risk to life.
In the next ten years, there will be tests that can analyze cancer cells under a microscope and predict whether it will progress or behave like it is benign.
Dramatic reductions in smoking and a number of new drugs have already helped to significantly reduce the cases of lung cancer.
One such drug, pembrolizumab (brand name: Keytruda), is approved for treating lung cancers that express a protein called PD-L1, a protein masks the tumor from your immune system; the therapy blocks PD-L1, allowing your immune system to attack the cancer.
When these drugs are paired with the right lung cancer, some patients will enter into long-term remission, and they have a good quality of life and a normal life expectancy.
However, the new drugs don’t work for every lung cancer, but doctors are learning more and more about the genetics of this cancer and developing targeted drugs.