What Do You Consider to Be the Top Medical Advances of the Past 20 Years?

Ryan Syrek, Editor


May 27, 2015

Trastuzumab as a treatment for breast cancer: Trastuzumab has improved survival in late-stage HER2-breast cancer, reduced the risk for recurrence in early-stage HER2-breast cancer, and reduced the risk for death in HER2 early-stage breast cancer.

Rituximab treatment in combination with chemotherapy: This combination of treatment has cured patients with B-cell lymphoma. The current standard therapy for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is rituximab with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), hydroxydaunorubicin (Doxil®), vincristine (Oncovin®), prednisone (Deltasone®), and bleomycin (Blenoxane®).

The Cancer Genome Atlas: The Cancer Genome Atlas started in 2006 and was completed in 2015. It is a compilation of genomic changes in all cancers and will aid in prevention and treatment strategies on an individualized level.

Immunotherapy: Such immunotherapies as ipilimumab (Yervoy®) and programmed cell death 1 inhibitors have improved treatment responses and possibly increased survival in patients with melanoma and lung cancer.

Targeted treatment of lung cancer subsets of adenocarcinoma: Treatments that are more specifically targeted to lung cancer subsets of adenocarcinoma include epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors and crizotinib (Xalkori®). These are less toxic treatments that represent a major advance.

Top oncology advances selected by Winston W. Tan, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Mayo Medical School; Consultant and Person-in-Charge, Genitourinary Oncology-Medical Oncology, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine; Vice Chairman of Education, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.

For more on the Cancer Genome Atlas, read here.


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