Cancer has afflicted more than 18.6 million people as of 2018. Health research institutions are still hard at work finding a viable cure for the disease, which remains as one of the most fatal in history. Though we have yet to come close to developing a viable drug for the disease, numerous innovations have been introduced to give humanity a fighting chance.
So far, there have been numerous breakthroughs in the field of cancer research that have yielded notable drugs that show some measure of success in alleviating the most serious effects of the disease.
That said, let’s take a look at a few of them:
This drug has been marketed as a preventive measure against breast cancer. It helps by limiting the growth of invasive cancer cells that are known to attack vulnerable women, especially those suffering from osteoporosis. The side effects, however, include flu and joint pain. It is advised that adult patients ingest at least 60mg/day or as prescribed by a physician.
It is found that this drug could help reduce the risk of brain tumors and certain types of lymphoma. Its effectiveness becomes more evident when it is taken with other drugs as prescribed. In addition, carmustine indicates some success in treating brain tumors in high-risk patients, although extensive research is still needed to gauge the actual effectiveness of the drug, particularly for its value in aiding patients as they recover from chemotherapy.
Asbestos is found in many modern homes. But as ubiquitous as it is, it is still a health hazard that has been the subject of lawsuits by the likes of Bergman Legal. Mesothelioma from asbestos has been the subject of intense regulation and also research, the results of which have been the development of a drug known as pemetrexed. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, this drug works to slow down the spread of mesothelioma cells by blocking folates that play a significant role in cell division. Clinical trials seem to suggest its effectiveness in supporting chemotherapy and other treatment methods.
Another approved drug for combating the spread of skin cancer, bexarotene can work well with other drugs as a form of maintenance. Clinical trials suggest its effectiveness in terms of inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in vitro. It is taken orally without any immediate effects, making it a viable drug for patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. The issue with bexarotene, however, is its potential to cause birth defects when taken by expectant mothers.
This drug has been around for some time, although there have been numerous attempts to develop its effectiveness, particularly in reducing the growth rate of lung cancer. It does so by inhibiting the proteins that lead to the growth of new blood vessels where tumors may develop. Crizotinib is currently marketed as xalkori and has been prescribed by physicians specializing in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Research and innovation continue as experts in the medical field are getting closer and closer to developing a more rational approach to treating and preventing cancer. Pharmacists can do their part by becoming aware of these developments in order to provide the market with an effective means to combat the disease.