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10 of the most important medical discoveries of 2018

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 06 Dec 2018


In 2018, researchers made multiple significant medical discoveries and surgeons completed revolutionary surgeries.A French man became the first person to receive two face transplants and a baby was born via a uterus transplant from a deceased donor.A fish oil supplement was found to dramatically reduce cardiovascular risk.Researchers created an injection that might prevent migraines and are looking into an effective and safe male birth control.Every year, researchers quietly pave the way for the advancement of medicine, and 2018 was no exception. Over the past 12 months, professionals in the medical realm worked tirelessly to combat dangers such as cancer and cardiovascular disease and bring treatment to those suffering from various mental illnesses.Here are 10 major medical breakthroughs of 2018 that have changed the face of medicine forever.A cancer "vaccine" eliminated tumors in mice.In January 2018, researchers at Stanford University announced in a press release that they were recruiting lymphoma patients in a clinical trial to test a potential cancer vaccine. The news came after the researchers successfully eliminated tumors in mice.The team of researchers found that injecting "minute amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid tumors in mice can eliminate all traces of cancer in the animals, including distant, untreated metastases."Specifically, by injecting one tumor site with the two agents 87 of 90 mice were cured of the cancer. Although the cancer recurred in three of the mice, the tumors again regressed after a second treatment.The hope is that a vaccine of the sort would be both affordable and eliminate the need for cancer treatments that attack the immune system and result in adverse side effects."I dont think theres a limit to the type of tumor we could potentially treat, as long as it has been infiltrated by the immune system," Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology, and the senior author of the study said in the press release.A French man became the first person to receive two face transplants.In April 2018, Jrme Hamon, 43, of France, became the first person in the world to receive two face transplants.The man, who suffers fromneurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic disorder that caused benign, disfiguring tumors to grow on his face, initially underwent a face transplant in 2010 but his body began to reject the new face in 2016. He lived two months without a face before French surgeons led by Laurent Lantieri, the same doctor who oversaw Hamon's first transplant, gave Hamon a new face.The successful landmark surgery proved thatre-transplantation is a possibility.A fish oil supplement was found to dramatically reduce cardiovascular risk.Considering about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year (1 in every 4 deaths) it's no surprise that when, in September, biopharmaceutical company, Biotech Amarin, announced that its supplement, Vascepa, was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients by 25%, people rejoiced.Though the drug was approved by the FDA in 2015 to treat people with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat found in blood, it wasn't until 2018 that its success was measured. "This is absolutely the most significant study in the field of cardiovascular risk reduction since the statins were introduced," said Dr. Matthew Budoff, a cardiologist at UCLA and a Vascepa study investigator.Read more: Amarin's stock soars after its fish oil capsule was found to dramatically reduce cardiovascular risksSee the rest of the story at Business Insider
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