Industry Insight: Healthcare

Industry Insight: Healthcare 17 May

Industry Insight: Healthcare 17 May

  • Reading time:3 mins read

This week’s Healthcare Industry Insights focuses on innovations in breast cancer vaccines, key results from the recently published Global Burden of Disease 2021 study, and the results of a study looking at how proteins in the blood could be an early cancer warning. 


The race for a breast cancer vaccine
There have been noticeable developments in the field of cancer vaccine designs, particularly for breast cancer.  About one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. One vaccine, developed by researchers from the University of Washington, has demonstrated safety and effectiveness in targeting HER-2 positive cancer in a Phase I clinical trial, with recruitment underway for a Phase II trial. A recent review of breast cancer vaccines for triple-negative breast cancer, published by Harris and Rubsamen, outlines the current clinical trials that are actively recruiting or in progress. This provides a fantastic overview of breast cancer vaccinations, where they’re headed, and the trials to keep an eye on. 


The Global Burden of Disease Study 2021

The latest Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, estimates the mortality and years of life lost from 288 causes of death. Categorised by age-sex-location and year in 204 countries and territories for each year from 1990 until 2021. One key finding is that COVID-19 has replaced stroke as the second leading cause of death. Furthermore, although COVID-19 caused a decrease in life expectancy during the pandemic, there has been an overall rise in life expectancy of 6.2 years between 1990–2021. The rise is attributed to the reduction in deaths caused by enteric infections. The Global Burden of Disease 2021 study offers important insights into the global health and mortality impact of COVID-19 and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in public health and/or policy making. 


Proteins in blood could provide an early cancer warning

A recent study in Nature Communications identified multiple blood protein-cancer risk associations, with some detectable more than seven years prior to a cancer diagnosis. The study identified 618 proteins linked to 19 types of cancer, with the authors hypothesising that some proteins could be used for early cancer detection and treatment options. Some of these proteins are thought to mark early cancer processes, which may serve as biomarkers for risk stratification. Further research is required to identify the role of these proteins in cancer development and to develop tests to identify them in a clinical setting.   

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