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  • Outline |

    Brachytherapy is an established treatment for prostate cancer with much to recommend it, but its use is declining as clinicians opt for flashier therapies.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    People with prostate cancer currently have several treatment options available to them. But one of the oldest, brachytherapy, is losing popularity with physicians. Without action, the skills needed to perform this effective therapy could be lost.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    With the patents on many biological drugs soon to expire, the biosimilars revolution is about to shift into top gear.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    Some of the most effective modern drugs are complex biological molecules. As their patents expire, drug developers are fashioning copycat versions that could make such therapies cheaper and more broadly available.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    Once thought to be irreversible, cirrhosis of the liver now seems treatable — and drug development is proceeding apace.

    • Liam Drew
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    Many long-term diseases of the liver lead to scarring, or fibrosis, that restricts the organ’s functions. Evidence that fibrosis can regress has spurred the search for therapies that suppress scar-tissue formation to restore liver health.

    • Liam Drew
  • Outline |

    Existing treatments for debilitating gut inflammation can offer only temporary relief. An array of potential therapies look set to unlock lasting remission.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    Existing treatments bring only temporary relief to people with ulcerative colitis, a common form of inflammatory bowel disease. Insights into the immunobiology of the condition are driving the development of therapies that could lead to prolonged periods of remission.

    • Michael Eisenstein
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    Damage to the retina has so far proved irreversible, but stem-cell therapies could hold the key to restoring sight.

    • David Holmes
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    The ways in which lost vision might be restored are coming into focus as researchers move closer to recreating the eye’s most complex structure — the retina — in the laboratory.

    • David Holmes
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    At present, there is no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord or to restore lost function. But regenerative therapies in the initial stages of clinical testing are offering hope.

    • David Holmes
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    A bone fracture that fails to heal after initial treatment can lead to prolonged disability. Regenerative therapies might help to restart the bone-healing process, getting the people affected back in action.

    • David Holmes
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    Increased levels of obesity are driving an epidemic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Understanding, diagnosing and treating this progressive condition are now priorities.

    • Liam Drew
  • Outline |

    A progressive and potentially life-threatening condition previously associated with alcoholism is becoming more common — even in non-drinkers.

    • Liam Drew
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    Many people with critical limb ischaemia have no option but to have the affected limb amputated. Can regenerative medicine offer an alternative?

    • David Holmes
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    In the most severe cases, a ruptured eardrum can require surgery to put it right, but tissue-engineering techniques might provide a much simpler solution.

    • David Holmes
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    Damage to the surface of the cornea causes pain and loss of vision, but regenerative therapies are providing a clearer, brighter future.

    • David Holmes
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    Loss of the stem cells that constantly renew the surface of the cornea causes pain and, in some cases, blindness. Advances in transplantation and cell culture are helping to restore vision to even the most severely affected people.

    • David Holmes
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    The concept of computers that harness the laws of quantum mechanics has transformed our thinking about how information can be processed. Now the environment exists to make prototype devices a reality.

    • Andreas Trabesinger
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    The promises of quantum computation are unique — and so are the challenges. Progress in physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering have brought quantum computers to a point where they start to challenge their classical counterparts. By Andreas Trabesinger; illustration by Visual Science.

    • Andreas Trabesinger
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    Successfully treating the cancer requires overcoming the almost inevitable development of resistance to standard platinum-based therapy.

    • David Holmes
  • Outline |

    Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat, largely because tumours are often found late and develop resistance to initial treatment: platinum-based therapy. New approaches promise to break through the platinum barrier.

    • David Holmes