7. Arsenal of Targeted Breast Cancer Therapies
The most full-scale attack on breast cancer is currently
underway. The tried-and-true treatment mechanisms—via
hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation—are still
valuable options for prolonging life. But these treatments
are often not enough to keep cancer at bay, and can also
lead to the collateral damage of healthy cells.
2018 marks the year that targeted therapies are most widely used to treat breast cancer. A variety of new targeted
treatments, such as PARP inhibitors for patients with specific mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and novel CD K
4/6 inhibitors for ER-Positive/HER-2-negative breast cancer are having positive outcomes in clinical trials. Additionally, HER-2 targeted agents continue to show benefit in this subgroup of HER-2-positive patients. Experts
believe the results from these studies are pointing to an increasing survival rate, and perhaps the eventual end of
chemotherapy for a significant population of breast cancer patients.
8. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery
For decades, the pre-and post-surgery routine has been
standard for nearly all procedures: no eating before sur-
gery; use pain medications; and stay in bed during recov-
ery. After substantial growth in hospital readmissions and
an opioid epidemic, innovators are overhauling post-sur-
gery strategies, and delivering impressive results.
Several centers have been developing the concept of “fast-track” or “enhanced” recovery after surgery. Research
indicates that ERAS (“Enhanced Recovery After Surgery”) protocol that permits patients to eat before surgery,
limits opioids by prescribing alternate medications, and encourages regular walking reduces complication rates
and speeds recovery. These protocols can reduce blood clots, nausea, infection, muscle atrophy, hospital stay and