“With a heart attack, there is no reverse gear”

red cogwheels of different sizes forming a heart shape

Head of Cardiology at Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, member of the European Society of Cardiology and Scientific Advisor to Best Doctors, Prof. José Luis Zamorano tells us …about the latest advances in the field, the importance of technology, the increasing presence of healthcare services in our daily lives and the use of “smart” drugs programmed to work directly on a specific target.

An interview with Prof. José Luis Zamorano Is the heart forever doomed to be a leading cause of death? Are humans just designed that way? Heart conditions are responsible for 35% of deaths around the world, which means 1 out of every 3 people. We know the heart well enough in order to be able to better prevent cardiovascular diseases. There is room for improvement and we need to act on that. So since it is one of the main causes of death, shouldn’t heart conditions be one of the fundamental research objectives for all countries? Research hasn’t stopped. What is more, it is Read more

Mapping out the right cancer treatment

a map of the world with all continents filled with tiny pictures of people in hospital situations

Advances in treatment and early detection mean that more people than ever before are surviving cancer. However, treatment is becoming more expensive and, according to a recent report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare informatics[i], total global spending on cancer drugs amounted to $100 billion[ii] in 2014, a 10.3% increase in just five years.

The huge growth has been attributed to a number of factors: increase in the cost of treatment increase in the length of time that patients receive therapy increase in overall treatment response rates and survival rates new products on the market, including biologics and targeted agents Targeted cancer therapies ("smart" treatments that identify and attack only cancer cells, as opposed to standard treatments such as chemotherapy, which can also affect healthy cells) now account for almost 50% of total spending and have been growing at an average rate of 14.6% over the past five years. As we head into the future, the pace of this Read more

Greater precision, less risk for brain surgery

close up of a male and female doctor, both wearing blue gowns, caps and surgical masks, as they perform surgery

Every year in the UK, 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour, and 71% of deaths from brain tumours occur in people under 75 years old. In fact, brain tumours claim more lives of people under 40 than any other cancer, including in children. In addition, brain tumours are extremely difficult to diagnose, and their incidence is rising, with as many as 40% of cancers eventually spread to the brain.[i]

Brain tumour surgery is a highly complex, delicate and risky procedure. Yet a new procedure carried out by a team of surgeons in London may prove to be a game-changer for both patients and doctors alike.

Using both a laser probe and a so-called “smart knife”, surgeons successfully removed a brain tumour from twenty-two year old Ruben Hill, the first patient on which the new procedure was used. The trial operation’s success was recently published in Medical News Today[ii], which notes that the new procedure was able to get around two major challenges facing surgeons performing brain tumour surgery. A laser that can see and a knife that can think One major problem that surgeons encounter while performing brain tumour surgery is the difficulty in distinguishing tumour and healthy brain tissue. Current procedures can only do this by Read more