Biggest Medical Breakthroughs of 2012
1. Smallpox In October, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, revealed that they had successfully used a modified smallpox virus to infect and kill breast cancer cells in mice. The research focuses on what’s known as triple-negative breast cancer, for which there are not currently many long-term treatment options.
2. Present days most common treatment for multiple sclerosis treatments require regular injections, but two new pills have made a new breakthrough in September. Large clinical trials found the drug BG-12, made by Biogen Idec of Weston, effective at treating the disease and helping prevent relapses. It could be approval from federal regulators before the end of this year. Meanwhile, Aubagio, a pill from Cambridge-based Genzyme Corp., was cleared for sale. The drugs, which act on the immune system in distinct ways, are both important new treatment tools.
3. University of Pittsburgh announced that they have made a unique operation over a woman. She has been successfully outfitted with a robotic hand that can be controlled by her thoughts–the first prosthesis to be operated by mind-control.
4. Truvada approved forprevention. A drug used to treat HIV symptoms was also found effective for preventing HIV in high-risk groups, including gay men and sexual partners of HIV patients. Truvada became the first drug approved for reducing the risk of HIV infection when it was approved by the FDA in July.
5. Blood test may reveal baby’s gender soon after Big news for expectant parents: One day, you may be able to learn the sex of your unborn baby as early as the first trimester. A South Korean study published in January revealed how a blood test can earlier and more accurately determine whether a pregnant woman is carrying a boy or girl.