Over fifty percent of Americans report that the costs of cancer treatments negatively infect their recovery. Average costs for cancer can range from bladder cancer at $21,412 year to leukemia at $60,701 and brain cancer at $115,250. Diagnostic tests can also be very expensive ranging from $200 to $900 to perform certain screening tests. Many prominent and upcoming researchers and innovators are creating new more accurate diagnostic tests that can cost as little as 3 cents, and other tests that can detect many different types of cancer from the same test to eliminate cost and risk. Survival rates greatly increase and costs decrease as these tests detect cancer earlier on. Other treatments such as electric tumor treating fields increase the quality of life for cancer patients and have great potential to lower the treatment costs. These developments will save American cancer patients tens of thousands of dollars on diagnosis and treatment costs.
Cancer, obesity, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases share a common denominator which is angiogenesis abnormality. William Li talks about ways that we can treat cancer and prevent ourselves from getting cancer using antiangiogenesis treatments. In many cases this is as simple as creating a rich diet with foods that contain natural angiogenesis inhibitors. Similar methods can be employed to treat obesity.
Jorge Soto unveils a new type of developing cancer detection technology that is 50 times cheaper than the current methods, much easier, and will be able to identify any type of cancer just from a small blood sample. All that is required to perform the test with this new device is a 1 mL blood sample and a smart phone. It then analyzes microRNA patterns in the blood to detect any potential types of cancer. This developing technology is open source.
16 year old Jack Andraka explains his journey to discovering a new detection technique for pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer. A small slip of paper that is 168 faster, 26,000 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive than current detection methods for pancreatic cancer. Current tests detect 85 percent of cases in the late stages, this sensor can detect traces of the disease in the early stages when survival rates are still very high.
A new kind of FDA approved cancer treatment, electric Tumor Treating Fields (TTF), and its implications are explained by Bill Doyle in comparison to the most commonly used treatments: radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Tumor Treating Fields increase longevity of cancer patients by the same amount but with one important difference, Tumor Treating Fields does not negatively impact the quality of life of the patient. They can continue their daily activities without any side effects. Doyle anticipates longer life expectancy with their treatment in the future.
Jay Bradner tells of the new molecule that hi team developed, JQ1, which combats cancer cells by turning them into normal cells. It has been effective in lab trials and they have made the information open-source and available to over 70 labs for development and furthering of research. These findings and collaboration could lead to many highly effective future treatments for cancer.
Mammograms are the principle way of detecting breast cancer but are historically inaccurate in their diagnosis of women with dense breasts. Deborah Rhodes and her team discovered a new technology for increasing tumor detection in women with dense breasts by 300 percent which will hopefully become available very shortly.
There are three main factors that determine our risk for certain health conditions, genetics, lifestyle and environment. However, physicians typically only use lifestyle and genetics to determine our risk. Bill Davenhall explains how geography can predict many things such as proneness to heart disease or heart attacks a person is, and how that can form a part of our personal medical history.
Research for new drugs to treat cancer and other diseases is limited because funding comes up short. Roger Stein has developed a new financial model that treats specific drug like financial assets in a portfolio and makes investing in drug research profitable. This will allow for newer and more effective drugs to become available in the future.
Tal Golesworthy and a cross-disciplined team developed a new cure for dilation of the aorta. Traditional methods leave a post-surgery patient taking medications, antibiotics, and precautions for the rest of their life as well as undergoing an extremely unpleasant surgical procedure. With Golesworthy's new innovation, many surgical complications are avoided, the procedure is much cheaper and the need for post-surgery medications and antibiotics is eliminated.