Smarter solutions to defeat cancer: the medical technology revolution.
Open Opinion Column of Dr. Alexandre CECCALDI, Secretary General of the European Technological Platform of Nanomedicine (ETPN) and coordinator of the NOBEL Project
This 4th of February took place the 1st HealthTech World Cancer Day, World Day of Medical Technologies Against Cancer, in Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Turkey. Organized by the European project NOBEL, this event open to the public aims to inform on the technological revolution in oncology.
"Cancer", a single word for such different clinical situations, from the best controlled to the most dramatic cases. Research has made major steps toward the effective and sustainable management of patients, but the announcement of cancer remains the promise of a test, fatal in almost every other case. With 18 million new cases and more than 9 million deaths in 2018, this disease remains a global scourge.
In parallel with biomedical research, accelerated development of emerging medical technologies - nanomedicine, robotics, photonics, connected health - now offers patients and caregivers a broader range of solutions against cancer.
An early diagnosis is decisive for a possible cure. The rapid and non-invasive detection of tumor cells from a simple blood sample, or volatile molecules specific for cancer in the breath, are hopeful. Cancer treatments are also becoming more effective and less toxic. The oncologist can be guided in his surgery by nanotechnology. Nanobiotix develops nanoparticles that boost the effect of radiotherapy in cancer cells. Finally, nanoparticles can deliver drugs directly into the tumor for more effective and less toxic chemotherapy.
This multidisciplinary effort involving researchers, entrepreneurs, clinicians and patients, supported by NOBEL, must continue; never forget the prevention that prevents the appearance of a large majority of cancers. Let's act together so that cancer is no longer a fatality.