Medicinal technology is growing faster than ever, and 2018 is already off to a big start. From new antibiotics in the fight against superbugs, to breakthroughs in the realm of mental health, to advances in prosthetics, here are a few of the biggest game changers in the medical world that have already happened this year.
Human Trials Begin For Cancer “Vaccine” – An immunotherapy injection that has had positive results in mice with cancer has now been cleared for human trials. Researchers at Stanford University have discovered a way to re-activate immune cells that have been “put to sleep” within tumor growths. A localized injection “wakes” the cells, which then begin attacking the cancer from the inside. In the 90 mice tested, 87 were cancer free after just one injection… and the remaining three mice were cured after their second injection. Researchers hope to see the same level of results in human patients this year.
A Blood Tests Predicts Alzheimer’s Up To 30 Years In Advance – What used to require spinal taps or expensive brain scans can now be done with a prick of the finger. Researchers can now examine simple blood tests for markers that show a high likelihood of the patient developing Alzheimer’s at some point in their future. While a cure for the disease is still unknown, advance notice allows access to treatment sooner, and could greatly improve quality of life.
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Gets Trial Run – Johnny Matheny lost his arm to cancer, but for the next year, he gets to borrow a new one from the U.S. government. And this isn’t your ordinary prosthetic. The new arm (the Modular Prosthetic Limb) uses brain waves to control movement and to communicate sensations from the arm. The prosthetic began testing as early as 2016, but this year will be the first long-term trial run of the technology… which currently boasts a price tag of over $120 million. Here’s hoping that drops before the arm heads to market.
Forgotten Antibiotic Super-Effective Against Superbugs – Old dogs may not learn new tricks, but it turns out that old antibiotics can. Octapeptin, an antibiotic discovered (and abandoned) in the 1970’s has been able to accomplish something modern antibiotics haven’t—defeating the antibiotic resistant bacterial “superbugs”. Which is excellent, considering that scientists currently project that drug-resistant infections will be responsible for 10 million deaths per year by 2050. This is one win we desperately needed.
We Can Grow (and Attach) New Ears – For the first time in world history, doctors can successfully grow and attach new ears onto human patients… using their own cells. Most of us probably remember the eerie photo from the 90’s of a human ear grown on the back of a mouse, and recreating human ears using cartilage from other parts of the body has been practiced with limited success. But as of 2018, cells from the patient can be used to grow a new ear within a structure that eventually dissolves after being attached… leaving behind a new ear almost identical to the other.
These are just a handful of the new practices, treatments, and technologies heading towards your hospital or clinic, and we’ll be watching excitedly to see what other medicinal “miracles” come out of 2018.
For more information on beginning your own career in healthcare, contact Unitek College today. Our programs range from nursing to medical assistant to dental assistant and more, with flexible schedules and a variety of start dates available.