Not confirmed yet. There is no evidence to suggest that all types of cancers will have a cure in the coming years. There is likely to be more than one cure for almost 200 diseases that fall under the general term of ‘cancer’. This makes it difficult to say how close medical science is to finding a cure for cancer.
Cancer does not have a cure because the structure of DNA undergoes unpredictable alterations that cannot be corrected with available medical technology. DNA is made up of mostly adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T) in various combinations and small piece of DNA may look like “ACGTACGT”. Adenine (A) binds with thymine (T), and cytosine (C) binds with guanine (G) only. However, in case of an error, one of these components may take the place of another. For example, the above segment may change to “ACGTTCGT”.
This error leads to a series of changes that may cause cancer in the future. Although the chance of an error in genetic code is ‘very rare’, it seems to have become common in current times. This rise can be explained by increased availability of genetic testing.
Despite this challenge, researchers are developing methods to detect and treat cancer better. The latest research in cancer shows promising results using immunotherapy. Researchers are studying immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Immune checkpoints are a natural mechanism in the body that acts as a ‘check’ so immune cells do not kill normal cells. This check also prevents them from killing cancer cells as these are confused to be normal cells. ICIs remove this check allowing immune cells to kill cancer cells.
In another study, researchers are trying to develop blood tests to detect cancer at an early stage. As blood tests are easy to perform and can detect cancer early, researchers are trying to incorporate such tests as a part of regular check-up.
Besides this, researchers are also trying to understand epigenetics to study the behaviour and environment that causes a mutation in the genes to cause cancer. A study shows that epigenetic drugs in combination with nanoparticles can be safely administered as cancer medication.
In conclusion, nobody can say how close medical science is to a cure for cancer, but the available methods can control most cancers if diagnosed early.
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