Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Advances in Medicine during the Past Decade

 

 

1. Thermo stabile vaccines and Nano particle enhancements

The first attaches vaccines to nanoparticles that can be absorbed by the skin inside the nostrils. Dr. James R. Baker Jr., director of the University of Michigan’s nanotechnology institute, said it works with hepatitis B and flu vaccine. He won a new grant to test the respiratory syncytial virus, which causes pneumonia.

The particles are in what Dr. Baker described as a “proprietary formulation of mayonnaise” based on soybean oil. The vaccine ends up inside the oil particles, which protect it from temperature changes and microbes. The immune system is “made to eat oil droplets,” Dr. Baker said, because it targets viruses, which are essentially time bombs of genetic instructions inside casings of fats. The “mayonnaise” is so safe, he said, that rats fed the equivalent of two quarts a day had only one side effect — weight gain. The emulsion by itself cures viral lesions like cold sores, he said; its surfactants harmlessly penetrate the skin but break up the herpes virus inside.

The second thermo stabilized vaccine the foundation is still backing is a complex one against malaria. It fuses the genes for parasite proteins onto a “genetic backbone” from vaccines against smallpox and a chimpanzee virus.

Rather than being bottled, the vaccine can be dried onto a bit of filter paper.

2. Alzheimer’s Disease is now a public health challenge. Over the past quarter of a century and with the relative success dealing with infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, longevity has produced CNS deterioration as a major social and public health issue. Much research and clinical trial resources are now focused on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Dr. Howard Fillet, also a geriatrician and executive director of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, said this week that more than 150 clinical trials worldwide are testing dozens of drugs that may be the answer to combating the disease itself, and not just the symptoms. (Seattle Times)  . Clinical Trials.go lists 861 studies in progress or completed.

3.  The Intraoperative MRI For Brain Tumors

4.  Advances in Oncology  The use of targeted monoclonal antibodies has gained wide acceptance as the SOC. The use of anti-vascular growth factor also has become SOC.

5. Advances in Urology  Two major advances over the past decade have markedly reduced human suffering;  alpha agonists for the almost elimination of urinary retention from BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and the pharmacologic treatment of male impotence with the use of Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadafil)  and others

6.  The advent of Robotic Surgery as well as the use of  Endoscopic Surgery has revolutionized many surgical specialties It has had multiple applications: (Wikipedia)

3 Applications

There are many more, these are just the highlights and ‘Gee Whiz” items.

8. Regenerative Medicine or the use of stem cell biology for treatments of degenerative or traumatic injuries as well as many other applications. (Regenerative Medicine.net)

9.Finally, the use of Health Information Technology has and will create a tsunami of events, improving patient care, easing clinicians access to medical records, imaging, learning and CME experience as well as telemedicine and communication with colleagues.

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