Ringing in the New Year: Medical Innovations for 2016

What medical advances can we anticipate in 2016?
What medical advances can we anticipate in 2016?

Now that 2016 has begun, many clinicians are wondering what medical advances they can anticipate during the upcoming year. This question was posed to over 110 physicians and scientists, who were asked by the Cleveland Clinic to select the top 10 drugs, medical devices, and public health innovations poised to have the greatest impact in 2016. The results were presented at Cleveland Clinic's 13th Annual Medical Innovations Summit.1

1. Rapid Development of Epidemic-Battling Vaccines

The 2014 Ebola epidemic in Africa and bacterial meningococcal (Meningococcal B) outbreaks in the United States have increased the sense of urgency to develop new, more sophisticated vaccines.1 Several promising agents are under investigation for Ebola. The Guinea vaccination trial, which began in affected African communities in March of 2015, evaluated the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of a single dose of the vaccine VSV-EBOV by using a ring vaccination strategy. Results from an interim analysis found it to be highly effective against Ebola.2 Several additional trials of other vaccines have been fast-tracked and at least one is anticipated to become available in 2016.1,3

2. Genomics-Based Clinical Trials

Patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer often wait for long periods of time to be enrolled in clinical trials that might not even be appropriate for their specific disease variety. Genomic testing can help identify the particular molecular profile of a patient's cancer or illness, thereby enabling more targeted matching to clinical trials and increasing the chances of achieving a positive result.1 One example is the National Cancer Institute's NCI-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH), “a clinical trial that analyzes patients' tumors to determine whether they contain genetic abnormalities for which a targeted drug exists…and assigning treatment, based on the abnormality.”4

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