A year ago, measles was in the news. We saw more cases in 2019 than we had in more than a decade.
Today, it’s a virus that has become a global pandemic.
We have a vaccine for measles … and we’re working toward one for the coronavirus.
Having a vaccine will go a long way toward relieving the angst of society. You see, vaccines are one way to achieve herd immunity. (Natural infection is the other.) This is when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease. When that happens, the spread of the disease becomes less likely.
This vaccine will happen. In part, because we want it to and because of the amazing advances we’ve made in the world of medicine.
Precision Is Key
We’re seeing amazing changes in precision medicine today. As the name implies, it has made the practice of medicine more precise. We are sequencing genes to better understand disease at the cells. This has allowed us to personalize medicine.
This Disease Is a Killer … but We Hope for Not Much Longer
Per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell disease (SCD) affects 100,000 people in the U.S. alone. A disproportionate percentage of them are African American.
Normally healthy round red blood cells become hard and sticky. They look like a C-shaped tool called a sickle.
The cells die early, causing a constant shortage of red blood cells. The shape of these cells also causes them to get stuck and clog blood flow. This results in pain, infection and even stroke.
Gene therapy modifies someone’s DNA to treat disease.
In 2017, doctors announced they had used the therapy to cure a teen’s SCD … and the painful symptoms that went with it.
They took some of his bone marrow stem cells, gave the cells extra versions of a needed gene and put them back in his body.
The blood tests show he’s cured.
Medical professionals are excited about the prospects of gene therapy for other ailments like hemophilia and cystic fibrosis as well.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. It’s a biological therapy. This means it uses substances made from living organisms.
One reason cancer cells thrive is they know how to hide from your immune system. Some of the immunotherapies we’re working on can mark cancer cells so it’s easier for your system to find them. Others boost your immune system, so it just works better against the diseased cells.
One version of this is T-cell therapy.
Kids who get leukemia most often suffer from ALL, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
In 2017, scientists conducted a trial on patients who had a less than 20% chance of survival using current treatments. Of those patients, 93% using the therapy achieved complete initial remission. Half remained in complete remission a year later.
Testing continues, but this is a huge leap forward.
Human ingenuity will help us beat the coronavirus, too.
We’ve been fighting viruses for a long time. We have hundreds of years of insight. And we’ve never wanted a vaccine more than we do today.
Remdesivir is one of our most promising drugs to fight the coronavirus. Gilead Sciences first created it to treat Ebola, another virus.
Precision medicine will help, too.
More than 1,800 COVID-19 trials are taking place around the world right now. The U.S. is doing the most, but this is truly a global effort.
We will achieve our goal.
Never bet against us.
Further, if there ever was one, now is the time to come together. To use more compassion than (hate-filled) passion. The results will surprise us if we embrace kindness today.
P.S. In his Automatic Fortunes investing service, Ian King follows the latest advancements in precision medicine. He has already invested in names that benefit from it. Precision medicine will be a key player in the rise of the Great American Reset. Click here to learn more. You’ll be happy that you did.