Posted 29 декабря 2021,, 07:57

Published 29 декабря 2021,, 07:57

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Not by covid alone: discoveries of 2021 in the field of medicine

Not by covid alone: discoveries of 2021 in the field of medicine

29 декабря 2021, 07:57
Фото: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
"Liquid biopsy" for cancer, a knee implant, and milk from lab-grown breast cells.

In the past year, many studies have been devoted to the coronavirus: new vaccines and drugs against covid have appeared. But there have been breakthroughs in the treatment of other serious illnesses, Insider informs.

Blood test to detect 50 types of cancer

Biotech company Illumina has developed the Galleri test, which, from a single blood sample, can detect DNA fragments that signal cancer. Moreover, these fragments can indicate the location of the tumor with high accuracy, allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In clinical trials involving cancer patients, the test revealed 51.9% of cancers at any stage of development. In addition, it is capable of detecting cancers that are not diagnosed by screening. The test, called a "liquid biopsy", gives results within 10 working days. In the United States, although FDA approval has not yet been received, such a test can already be done with a doctor's prescription, it costs $ 949.

Psychedelics Against Depression

In recent years, there have been several studies in which psychedelic drugs have been shown to be effective in the treatment of mental disorders. In 2021, two such discoveries were made. First, MDMA has proven to be beneficial for people with PTSD. The journal Nature Medicine published the results of a clinical study in which 67% of participants felt so good after two months of taking MDMA in combination with psychotherapy that their diagnosis was withdrawn. Second, the largest randomized controlled trial of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been shown to be effective against treatment-resistant depression. Taking psilocybin in combination with two sessions with a psychotherapist worked as well as taking the popular antidepressant escitalopram daily.

Jumper's knee implant

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is the most common knee injury in the world. Reconstruction of the ACL requires several surgeries or even a complete reconstruction, which consists of removing the healthy tendon, grafting, and a long recovery period.

The new BEAR knee implant, which is made from bovine collagen and a drop of the patient's own blood, is able to stimulate the ACL to heal itself. The installation procedure is minimally invasive, and the injury heals faster than as a result of reconstruction.

Yeast Infection Pill

The Candida fungus, which causes vaginal yeast infections, responds well to over-the-counter medications, but often comes back. Scientists have recently developed the first antifungal drug in more than 20 years that works according to a new scheme.

Brexafemme blocks the production of a protective coating around the fungus, causing it to die off and remain in the body for two weeks to prevent the infection from returning. Two tablets are enough for treatment.

Breast milk replacement

Under laboratory conditions, it was possible to create breast milk as close as possible to human milk. Biomilq is made from laboratory-grown breast cells. This is the first artificial milk that is nutritionally identical to breast milk. Of course, it cannot transfer the components of the immune defense to the infant from the mother, but for parents who, for whatever reason, cannot or do not want to breastfeed, such a mixture can be an alternative. Biomilq is expected to be available to consumers in about three years.

Treatment of progeria

Progeria is a rare genetic disorder that causes signs of premature aging. It has now been diagnosed in about 400 children worldwide. On average, 13 years after diagnosis, these children die of heart failure or stroke. Until recently, there was no cure that could slow the progression of the disease. This year, Eiger Pharmaceuticals developed Zokinvy, which prevents the build-up of progerin, a defective protein that leads to cell death and damage to the heart and bones. Zokivny either reduces or delays the onset of symptoms associated with the disease and can extend life by about 2.5 years. The earlier the therapy starts, the more noticeable the effect.