There were so many incredible medical discoveries in 2007; it was hard to pick the ten most meaningful stories. These are the top 10 I felt might change the future of medicine:
#10 Circumcision Reduces the Risk of HIV
In December of 2006, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) stopped two clinical trials of male circumcision after an earlier review showed that this procedure reduced the risk of acquiring HIV during sex with women by at least 51% compared to uncircumcised men. Details of the studies are published in the Lancet.
#9 Amazing Benefits of Vitamin D
New studies published this year suggests that the “sunshine vitamin” does more than boost bone strength. It also wards off diabetes, gum disease and multiple sclerosis — and maybe even cancer. The recommended supplement dose is 1,000 IU daily.
#8 MRI as a New Screening Tool for Breast Cancer
The MRI can now detect cancer in the opposite breast that is missed by mammogram and clinical exam. This could lead to fewer bilateral mastectomies. Recommended for high risk women.
#7 First Human Vaccine Against Bird Flu
We may be able to breath slightly easier knowing that we have the first human vaccine against the bird flu. It’s not available commercially; the federal government is stockpiling it in case of a national outbreak.
#6 A New Diabetes Gene
Researchers from the U.S. and Finland discovered 4 new genetic variants linked to an increased risk of diabetes. These discoveries will help aid experts in finding those at greatest risk in developing Type II diabetes.
#5 Inhaled Insulin
In September 2007, the FDA approved the first ever-inhaled insulin. This could replace the fast-acting insulin shots some diabetics take before meals.
#4 No More Menstrual Periods
“Lybrel” is the first continuous use birth control drug for women wanting to dodge the nuisance of their monthly menses.
#3 Early Stage Test for Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in America; responsible for more deaths than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. A new blood test may improve the odds of catching the disease earlier, at a more curable stage.
#2 Stem Cell Breakthroughs
Researchers have now found a way to reprogram regular skin cells to behave just like embryonic stem cells. This discovery may someday allow scientists to create stem cells without destroying embryos — avoiding the ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem-cell research.
#1 Vaccine to Prevent Cervical Cancer
Human papillomavirus quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil) prevents the most common types of HPV infection that causes 70% of cervical cancer and 90% of genital warts.
Thanks for tuning in this year.
Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!