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Medical Innovations You May Have Missed

Malaria vaccines, RSV inoculations, and progress in the war on cancer

May 2024

Script

Why should weight-loss drugs get all the headlines?

While everyone has been buzzing about them lately ... many other recent medical breakthroughs have been overlooked.

A few examples:

We’ve seen important progress in the fight against malaria, which kills about half a million children in Africa every year.i

In the past few years, the first two malaria vaccines have been approved ... creating enough supply to eventually treat every child in the world threatened by the disease.ii

There’s also good news for children here in America.

The virus known as RSV is the single leading cause of hospitalization for infants.iii

Up to 80,000 children under the age of five end up hospitalized with the disease each year.iv

But in 2023, after decades of effort, we got not one but two means to combat RSV:

Parents now have the option of a vaccine given to mothers during pregnancy or a monoclonal antibody injection for infants.v

We’ve also seen important advances in the fight against cancer.

Researchers at Stanford identified a protein that is critical to controlling whether or not breast cancer will metastasize — which has the potential to make the disease more treatable with immunotherapy.vi

And a recent clinical trial in New York had an outcome that has never been seen before:

Every single patient saw their cancer disappear.vii

The study only focused on 18 rectal cancer patients with rare mutations ... so, more research will be needed before we know if these results can be replicated.

Still, in a world full of dismal headlines, these kinds of medical breakthroughs provide a welcome dose of good news.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. New malaria vaccines are projected to eventually provide protection for every child in the world threatened by the disease.
  2. Both a vaccine and an antibody injection have been developed to protect against RSV, the single largest cause of hospitalization for infants.
  3. A clinical trial for patients with a rare variety of rectal cancer had a 100% success rate.

Source(s)

  1. Who Recommends R21/Matrix-M Vaccine for Malaria Prevention in Updated Advice on Immunization  World Health Organization 
  2. Ibid.
  3. RSV Symptoms and Diagnosis  American Lung Association
  4. RSV in Infants and Young Children  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
  5. "Should You Get the New RSV Vaccine?" (Kathy Katella)  Yale Medicine 
  6. Researchers Uncover On/off Switch for Breast Cancer Metastasis  Stanford University
  7. "The Rectal Cancer Clinical Trial at MSK That Changed Everything for Its Patients" (Bill Piersol)  Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 

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