Taking Charge of Your Health

These are cancer cells. They may look innocent like this but in reality,
we know that they are, to put in lightly, bad. But what if I told you that researchers have
found a new way to fight cancer, by using cancer avatars. No, not that avatar. And not the game avatar either. Cancer avatars. Hi, I’m Daniel from Tech In Asia. While existing cancer treatments have historically
been a shot in the dark, the folks from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research
alongside National Cancer Centre Singapore, found a new way to prepare the most
effective treatment for each individual. So, what are cancer avatars? Essentially, A*STAR’s researchers from the
Genome Institute of Singapore were able to clone a patient’s own tumour outside of their body, and creating an avatar of them. Hello! Why is this important? Current methods of cancer treatment expose
our bodies to very harmful chemicals, with no guarantee of effectiveness in killing the cancer. The new method allows us to take a
sample of the tumour cells to clone the cancer outside of our bodies
in the form of an avatar. By replicating this avatar multiple times,
researchers can test different types of treatments, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted anti-cancer drugs. Because everyone is unique,
a method that works for Person A, may not work for Person B. Creating an avatar outside our bodies allow
us to remove months of trial and error, and hopefully on their first try, hit the bullseye. This method is part of a growing field called
“Precision Medicine”, a new way of treating and preventing
diseases that takes into account each person’s unique genes, environment, and lifestyle. Among the group of patients studied,
one saw their tumour size shrink by 95% within weeks of the correct treatment being identified. And another, saw the cancer markers in
their blood reduced by over 90%. By letting the patient’s own cancer cells
tell us exactly what works, we then can start developing better treatments. We can’t cure cancer yet, but this is
one big step towards the future, all thanks to a little avatar.

2 thoughts on “Cancer Avatars: Future of Cancer Treatment?

  1. That is great news. Are there immunotherapies, oncolytic viral therapies, and cancer vaccines that work miraculously on cancer patients even if it is an aggressive form of cancer and it is stage 4?

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