Genetically modified children, HIV vaccines, a victory against cancer without much hope … Despite the fact that there are many open fronts, 2018 was a great year in the field of medicine, the year in which the name sounds primarily Spanish Pedro Cavadas, the god for those who have already lost all hope.
The year that was fired was remarkable for many in the medical field. Fortunately, success was achieved, which, fortunately, many professionals have achieved, having put a lot of effort and hours of research. Unfortunately, others follow this little great miracle that continues to resist arrival.
possibly, Valencia Pedro Cavadas is responsible for one of the most exciting news of this year 2018 as regards medicineHis list of miracles continues to fill with light a successful professional career and, I hope, continue to add many more. And yes, invoking miracles to your activities is not an exaggeration. His long medical career, the “impossible” cases to which he gave the solution, and his altruistic aspect, make him more than worthy of the nickname by which the world knows him, the “miraculous doctor”.
Cavadas was responsible for such stages as the first face transplant in Spain, he was the first in the world to transplant hands at the forearm to a woman, and bilateral leg transplantation, also all over the world, in addition to other many unusual operations. And this is what, as he himself admitted, he "has the habit of not saying anything."
One of these "lights" is Wilmer Arias, a young man of 28 years old, who at 9 years old had a paralyzed fever due to a stray bullet, and that thanks to the Valencian surgeon he can sit without pain, that the patient underwent two interventions. reconstruct the complete separation of the spine and pelvis He calls it "incredible" after spacious years.
Wilmer Arias went from being chained to being able to move in a wheelchair: “Dr. Pedro Cavadas gave me a second chance to stay alive”,
The young man had been working in the field since he was seven years old and went to school when he had an accident. “I was playing at nine with my cousins outside the house when a stray bullet hit my neck,” he explained. After two and a half months in a coma and after surgery, due to the immobilization, he began to have ulcers in different parts of the body, the heaviest in the sacral area, which did not heal or worsen over time.
According to Kavadas himself, the nurse told him about a young man with an ulcer on the sacrum, whom they could not operate in his country, but he “did not pay any attention” because he did not believe that he could not be operated. A few months later, at his insistence, he told him to take him to Spain.
“It was a massive infection with a loss of the lower part of the spine and pelvis. I was divided into two parts. It is different from sacral ulcers. He made him stay in bed all day, and a life-threatening situation arose because he could suffer from meningitis and die, ”he warned.
Program has been scheduled double intervention: one to clean the affected area and place an external fixer between both parts, and another that lasted eight hours to attach the spine to the pelvis, transferring the bones and skin from the leg.
After the culmination of the whole process, both gave a press conference to explain that they had already been baptized as a new “miracle” of the Valencian doctor. “This is a beautiful story, and that’s why we consider it because we do complex operations every day,” said Kavadas, who described Wilmer as a “very tough guy,” who, despite being paralyzed, “can sit down and renew your life. " before the accident. "
Now Wilmer has returned to school, wants to get a master's degree in digital technology, enter the world of the stock exchange and, moreover, "help everyone who needs to return what they have done for me."
Brazil welcomes the world's first child who is transplanted into a transplanted uterus
A few days ago log Lancet He announced another progress that will occur in this 2018 year. The first child, who was born in a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor, was born in a hospital in Brazil. It is often said that children come with bread under their arms, but this time it gives hope to thousands of women with fertility problems.
Currently, donation of the uterus can only be done from relatives, so the options are reduced, since there are few living donors.
The transplant recipient was a 32-year-old patient with uterine infertility who underwent surgery on the uterus, which lasted more than 10 hours, during which the donor organ was connected to its veins, arteries, ligaments and canals. vaginal.
After seven months, during which the patient did not reject the new organ and had menstruation, fertilized eggs were introduced, which gave birth to an ordinary pregnant woman. The child was a healthy girl who was born with a caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days and weighed about two and a half kilograms.
After giving birth, the uterus was removed without any abnormalities, and after three days the mother and the child received medical extracts.
Previously, another 10 uterine transplants from deceased donors were made in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, but this is the first case of a live birth.
With regard to the field of transplantation and more national scale, it should be noted that Spain surpassed again in 2017, due to the lack of the next annual report, its own record on organ donation and transplantation and remains the world leader for 26 consecutive years, reaching the “best data in its history”: 46.9 donors per million population (total 2183) and 5259 transplants.
The most effective fight against metastatic cancer
Metastasis, a word that in most cases is synonymous with death, can have day numbers. One of the achievements of this year, one of the most important, can give hope for a disease that has claimed millions of lives.
A few months ago, the news jumped, A 49-year-old woman managed to win a battle with breast cancer with metastases in others organs after receiving innovative immunotherapy developed at the US National Cancer Institute.
According to the magazine, after almost two years no traces of cancer were found in his body. Natural medicine Laszlo Radwani, scientific director of the Ontario Cancer Research Institute, called the test "unprecedented response in advanced breast cancer. "
The treatment was to remove the lymphocytes from one of the patient’s tumors, identify the few that are active against cancer cells but are too small to slow the progression of the disease, multiply them in the laboratory and return 82,000 million lymphocytes to the patient to attack the tumors.
A new therapy, which came from the hands of Alena Gros to the Institute of Oncology. Val d'Ebrona (VHIO), is "a treatment that offers an alternative to patients who have no alternative." Despite the great hope it is a personalized treatment that is not yet ready for widespread use and will continue until 2024.
In Vall d & # 39; Hebron, the first patients could begin treatment in the second semester of 2019, as soon as the method of cultivating lymphocytes in the laboratory is improved and the necessary permits are obtained.
Researchers hope to expand treatment in the future to fight other types of cold tumors besides breast, ovaries, pancreas, and colorectal cancer.
Cancer of any kind is the cause of millions of deaths worldwide, and future statistics are not encouraging. About 18.1 million people get cancer for the first time, and 9.6 million people will die from it in 2018.according to the latest estimates published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental body that is part of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Today, lung, breast and colorectal cancer are the three main types of cancer in terms of incidence, and they are ranked among the first five by mortality (first, fifth, and second, respectively). Together, these three types of cancer are responsible for one third of the cancer incidence and the burden of death worldwide.
Stem cells against HIV
HIV, one of the diseases, which, along with cancer, still does not have a final decision, occupies a worthy place in the section of achievements of medicine this year. A group of researchers from Sida IrsiCaixa in Barcelona and the hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid managed to remove the virus from the blood and tissues of five patients. After stem cell transplantation, five out of six patients infected with HIV reduced the presence of the virus to an undetectable level.
Studies have confirmed that in these patients who received stem cell transplantation, the virus is not detectable in the blood and tissues, and even one of them does not even have antibodies, which indicates that HIV could be removed from his body, although, according to experts, "Not detectable" does not mean that the virus has been removed; in other words, it may still be present in the body.
Discovering this stem cell property opens the door to design. new treatments for aids in the future.
Researcher Maria Salgado, co-author of the article describing the study in detail, explained that the reason drugs are currently not curing HIV infection is in the viral reservoir, cells that are infected with a virus that remain inactive and are not detected or destroyed. immune system.
Unfortunately, the results are final. The next step is to conduct clinical trials controlled by doctors and researchers to stop taking antiretroviral drugs. some of these patients and provide them with new immunotherapy to check if there is a viral rebound, and confirm whether the virus has been eliminated from the body.
The study was based on the case The Berlin Patient, named Timothy Brown, a person with HIV who underwent stem cell transplantation in 2008 for the treatment of leukemia.
The donor had a mutation called CCR5 Delta 32, which made their blood cells immune to HIV, as it prevents the virus from penetrating into them. Brown stopped taking antiretroviral drugs, and after 11 years the virus still does not appear in his blood, which is considered the only person in the world who was cured of HIV.
With the beginning of the epidemic, More than 70 million people became infected with HIV and about 35 million died. Today, about 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV, of which 22 million are being treated.
With regard to this disease and the progress achieved in its elimination, we can single out one of the most controversial in recent years. Chinese scientist and geneticist He Jiankui announced in late November that he created the first genetically modified children. make them resistant to the virus, causing debates about the ethical boundaries of research, especially when their main characters are people.
After the debates that had arisen, the controversial investigator disappeared, and today his whereabouts are unknown. The World Health Organization said it will analyze the ethical, social, and security implications of Jiankui’s work, which, despite criticism from the Chinese authorities, has received government subsidies.
Alzheimer's disease, Ebola and innumerable diseases continue and, unfortunately, will continue, cutting off the lives of billions of people around the world, despite achievements, although they help to look to the future with hope. And who knows, can 2019 be the year when the cure for cancer will appear?