Cancer Research: Breakthroughs in 2020

Rock the Treatment Keeps Cancer and Cancer Patients in The Spotlight

It is hard to imagine thinking or talking about any illnesses besides Covid-19 when we look back on 2020. But while the pandemic took hundreds of thousands of lives, making headlines in the process, millions of others continued their battles against diseases that have been with us since long before the Coronavirus.

For cancer patients, not only has Covid-19 posed a significant health threat, but it has also taken some of the spotlights off cancer research, fundraising, and treatments.

At Rock the Treatment, people with cancer are always on our minds. Our clients call us seeking a great way to send positive vibes, healthy treats, and perfect gifts to their friends and family members undergoing cancer treatments.

Our healthy cancer gift boxes contain items carefully selected and intended to ease cancer’s physical and emotional side effects. Cancer gift baskets from Rock the Treatment are a great way to let cancer patients know you still care about them and their battle.

 

Sharing Some Cancer Breakthroughs of 2020

Let’s take a moment to remember that millions of people are out there still fighting cancer, needing care, and hoping for a cure. Despite all of the attention paid to Covid-19, in 2020, there were plenty of breakthroughs in cancer research that might lead to earlier detection, easier treatments, and better outcomes for millions of people.

According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, there were several “important clinical advances in cancer in 2020.”

 

Approval of a Precision Medicine for Lung and Thyroid Cancer

In May 2020, the FDA approved a drug called selpercatinib, which is sold as Retevmo. This drug is being used to treat lung and thyroid cancers with a specific kind of genetic alteration called RET gene mutations or fusions. The data from clinical trials indicated that this drug is a significant advancement in how doctors can treat RET-driven cancers and possibly others.

 

Progress Against an “Undruggable” Cancer Protein

The KRAS cancer gene is responsible for about 1/4 of lung cancers and between 1/3 and ½ of all colorectal cancers. The KRAS protein, until recently, was thought impervious to drugs.

In a recent study, the results of which were released in September 2020, a drug called sotorasib (AMG 510) stopped or slowed cancer growth in many patients with advanced cancer containing KRAS-G12C, a variation of the mutant KRAS protein.

How does it work? Researchers found that the protein has a pocket that opens and closes.
They determined that if you insert the drug into the protein’s pocket, it freezes it in its “off” state and cannot restart. In other words, it essentially puts the protein to sleep, and cancer cells can’t grow unless it is awake.

Investigators say this is a significant breakthrough that has potential benefits for many cancer patients. In January 2021, doctors at MSKCS completed a promising report on the drug’s phase II trial.

 

New Hope For Patients With Colorectal Cancer

About 8-10% of people with colorectal cancer have what is called BRAF V600E mutation in their tumor.
In April 2020, the FDA approved a new combination therapy to treat cancers with this mutation. This type of colorectal cancer is known to metastasize quickly and aggressively.

Two drugs in combination, encorafenib, and cetuximab, known as Braftovi and Erbitux, were effective in delaying the onset or progression of metastases and improve quality and possibly the length of life.

 

A Fight Against Therapy Resistance

Cancer cells don’t exist on their own. They rely on a microenvironment in your body to thrive. The microenvironment contains tissues, blood vessels, non-cancerous components, and immune cells that surround the tumors.

A team of doctors discovered that there is a protein in the microenvironment that surrounds certain prostate cancers that makes the tumors therapy-resistant. The doctors have identified the protein called NRG1 and now are researching ways to block the protein to allow treatment to become successful.

This breakthrough suggests that resistance to cancer therapy does not always come from the makeup of the cancer tumor itself. That there are factors in the microenvironment that might affect the tumor suggests we can expect significant changes in the way some cancers get treated.

 

Call Rock the Treatment to Send Healthy Cancer Gift Boxes

These breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment might yield incredible results for some people battling the disease, if not now, then perhaps years in the future. Today, however, the fight against cancer will continue to be a hard one for millions of those suffering from various forms of the disease.

If you know a man, woman, or a child getting chemo or radiation and are asking yourself, “what can I send to someone with cancer?” call Rock the Treatment today. Our healthy cancer gift boxes are filled with items that the cancer patient in your life will love. Our gift boxes contain things that can help ease the physical side effects of treatment and bring much-needed relief from the emotional side effects.

Call Rock the Treatment today at 516-690-7009 to send a healthy cancer gift basket and help someone endure cancer treatments.

 

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