3/19/2023 9:44:01 PM
For centuries, cancer has been a major threat to humans. Various therapeutic modalities have been discovered, tried, failed, and succeeded since the first medical attempts against this malignancy. Despite all of these years of practice and research, many aspects of this disease remain unknown. But why is this the case? Do we need to alter our approach or perspective toward this disease that threatens our very existence?
In a book chapter titled "Cancer: A Complex Problem Requiring Interdisciplinary Research", a number of USERN advisory board members from various fields of science gathered their thoughts and understanding of the disease. The book chapter is part of a series titled "Interdisciplinary cancer research" that has yet to be published. Each scientist in this work attempts to look at cancer from his or her own unique perspective and through the lens of his or her own discipline. Biological, chemical, environmental, social, and medical sciences, mathematics, physics, and artificial intelligence are among these disciplines.
Cancer is a complex disease caused by molecular defects and genetic changes that can be fatal if not treated properly. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and newer methods such as targeted agents and immunotherapy are currently available as treatment options. However, these treatments frequently have side effects that impair the patient's quality of life, and a less toxic and more specific alternative therapy has yet to be developed. To combat cancer and develop new research and treatment strategies, a multidisciplinary approach involving chemical, medical, biological, and formal sciences, as well as psychological and social factors, is required. The goal is to develop new cancer research and treatment strategies for the next three decades, based on input from various disciplines suggested by experts and top scientists in various fields of science.
In essence these scientists believe that cancer research and treatment are expected to evolve over the next few decades. The emphasis will shift to treating cancer as a chronic disease and enhancing quality of life. Multidisciplinary approaches will help us better understand the causes, progression, and consequences of cancer. Personalized and molecular-based treatments will revolutionize diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Preventive measures, such as leading a healthy lifestyle and limiting our exposure to environmental chemicals, will also be emphasized. Precision medicine will use genomics, comorbidities, competing health risk scores, microbiome studies, and other data to create personalized treatment plans. Advanced treatment strategies, biomarkers, and a better understanding of resistance mechanisms will all be important. Finally, advanced technologies and artificial intelligence will be integrated into cancer research.
Link to the manuscript: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/16833_2022_116