How Cutting Edge Technology is Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment as We Know It

Published February 4th, 2020 - 12:43 GMT
How Cutting Edge Technology is Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment as We Know It
Early detection of cancer symptoms has proved to be a crucial factor in curing patients using less painful treatments and for shorter periods of time. (Shutterstock)

Cutting edge technology is revolutionizing healthcare as researchers partner with tech innovators to build advanced tools and gadgets that can help diagnose cancer, treat patients, and ease their pain. 

Early detection of cancer has proved to be a crucial factor in curing patients and for less painful treatments that last shorter periods of time. Additionally, patients have been experimenting with new gadgets that help them throughout their treatment journeys, until they are finally cancer-free.

We explore the newest, most effective tools that are supporting cancer patients during their struggle against the disease.

1. Scalp Cooling Caps

Research teams at the University of Huddersfield have delivered innovative scalp cooling caps that aim to prevent hair loss in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The cooling cap has reportedly been able to achieve a 50% success rate, helping cancer patients keep a sense of normality during their treatments, affecting their mental health positively.

2. AI readers of MRI scans

We no longer have to wait for the future to see AI being applied in the health sector beyond basic science. Scientists have been able to develop AI tools that are able to recognize patterns and interpret images, the equivalent of human skills that enable them to read X rays and MRI scans, and help diagnose the irregular cell growth that is cancer, especially for patients of breast, lungs, skin and prostate cancers.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles say they have trained their AI system using 240 breast biopsy images and have tested it against 87 pathologists.

Last October Engadget reported that Microsoft in India and SRL Diagnostics have developed an AI tool that helps detect cervical cancer, giving healthcare providers more time to attend to a greater number of patients, especially in countries with high populations and not enough doctors. 

3. Nanorobots fighting cancer cells

Scientists at the Polytechnique Montréal, Universite de Montreal, and McGill University have been able to create nanorobots that travel through the bloodstream before detecting and attacking cancer cells in the target areas using medication.  

4. Counting cancer cells device

Researchers at the School of Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have been able to assemble a new device that is able to count all cancerous cells in the patient's body with a 95% accuracy rate.

The new device helps doctors monitor the success of chemotherapy and other treatments that limit the growth of mutations, combining artificial intelligence and sophisticated biosensors to "handle tiny amounts of fluids to see if cancer cells are sensitive or resistant to chemotherapy drugs."

5. The Optune electric skull for brain cancer patients 

Neurologists at Northwestern University have successfully designed an electric skull cap that can support oral chemotherapy drugs and boost their efficiency, by sending low-intensity electric fields through the brain, which block cancer cell division and limit its spread to other areas of the brain.

Studies reported by Engadget show that cancer patients who used the cap had a median overall survival of 21 months, compared to 16 months for those who didn't.

The only downside to using this device is its high cost, which could reach $700 a day.

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