Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
The future of cancer therapies
The approach to treating cancer has evolved considerably in recent decades. Once considered a death sentence, cancer can now be treated using a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy depending on the type of cancer and how advanced it is.
In the last few years, immunotherapy has come under the spotlight as researchers discovered ways to employ our body’s immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. One of the reasons our bodies struggle with cancer is because cancer cells have a way of evading destruction by our natural immune system. Immunotherapy aims to restore its ability to do so.
There are, however, limits to these treatments. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, for instance, are not able to kill cancer tumours without destroying healthy cells. Fortunately, nanotechnology is paving the way for more precise treatment methods, for example, by guiding drugs to selectively target cancer cells. The emergence of a new class of medicine called radiopharmaceuticals now enables radiation drugs to track down cancer cells and deliver radiation directly to them.
In addition, scientists are working on cancer vaccines as a form of immunotherapy. Moderna and BioNTech have been conducting researches on cancer vaccines using the mRNA technology for years. With their success in COVID-19 vaccines, it could mean that cancer vaccines will become a reality in the near future.
Healthcare in the Spotlight
World Economic Forum: Can people vaccinated against COVID-19 still spread the coronavirus?
Vaccines can prevent you from getting sick, but don’t necessarily stop you from getting infected or spreading the virus.
The Straits Times: WHO approves Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
It is the second Chinese-produced vaccine to be endorsed by the WHO, and has shown to be efficacious in preventing COVID-19 in adults under 60.
The Conversation: Could a simple pill beat COVID-19? Pfizer is giving it a go
Pfizer is testing an anti-viral drug to ‘cure’ COVID-19 in infected people, and it could be available by the end of 2021.
Prevention.com: The creative habit that might ward off dementia symptoms, even if you start later in life
New research suggests that playing music – not just listening to it – has a positive effect on your cognition, even if you’re already showing signs of dementia.
BBC: US approves first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years
The FDA has approved its first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease in 20 years. The new drug is the first in the market that will slow disease progression rather than just ease symptoms.
The Straits Times: Global warming to blame for 1 in 3 heat-related deaths: Study
It was not the increase in average summer temperature that boosted death rates. It was heatwaves.
Photo credit: Markus Winkler on Unsplash
The Economist: Genetic engineering may help control disease-carrying mosquitoes
A genetic tweak to render male mosquitos infertile could be the answer to stop malaria and dengue infections.
Begin running during the pandemic? How to stay motivated, avoid injury
A recent survey by athletic shoe review company RunRepeat suggests that a ‘running boom’ has emerged from this pandemic. If you are new to running, find out how you can stay safe and injury-free when starting your new exercise regime.
Southeast Asia is poised to emerge as the world’s fourth largest economy. How will climate change impact our water, energy and food (WEF) securities and what can we do to better manage them?
Join us at our first webinar and learn more from our panel of global experts!
Chinese Medicine Webinar Series by UTAR (Malaysia)
Want to know more about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and how it can benefit your health? Tune in to the monthly webinar series by TCM lecturers at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia. In the month of June, they will be covering “Cognition, Treatment and Prevention of Sinusitis”. Click here to register.
*Please note that the UTAR webinar will be conducted in Mandarin.