Which will be the next major disease for which a prevention or cure is found?

Almost every week I hear of a new promising development in treating/preventing a major disease. But without fail, each of these stories ends with the caveat that more development/testing is needed and it will be 5-20 years until any useful drug can be made available. I find these articles both uplifting and depressing.

So my question is, given the current state of medical research, which major disease is likely to be the next one for which we find a cure or a means for effective prevention? By cure I don’t necessarily mean complete eradication in a sick patient, but at least allowing the patient to lead a relatively normal life to normal life expectancy.

here’s me hoping it wil be alzheimer’s,
I’m 38 and nothing scares me more.

There are some pretty amazing results in tailored cancer therapies using immunoconjugate drugs. There are a very few drugs on the market already and more in the pipeline.

This approach to treatment will make us think of cancers as many more categories. More and more, oncologists will not just talk of lymphoma, they will talk of CD30 positive non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. And there’s a drug for that. A drug that is different than the treatment for CD28 positive non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

While HIV hasn’t been cured as such, modern therapies are so effective that for many people, it’s nearly as good as a cure. Ditto for many types of cancer.

Good news for you today, then. According to the New York Times,

According to a lot of folks, diabetes (at least Type 1) has been 5-10 years away from a cure for about 40 years. So I’m voting for that.

It’s not prevalent in western countries, but I saw a news article suggesting that Guinea-worm infection was getting close to eradication, with reported cases dropping massively, and hoped at some point to go to zero and stay there http://www.who.int/dracunculiasis/en/

My company is working on some treatments for hepatitis C virus that supposedly are very effective with few of the side effects of current therapy.

Which company do you work for? If it’s effective with few side-effects, I’d better buy stock now!!

I’m stunned by the extreme side effects I see from telaprevir and boceprevir. Far more extreme than I’ve been seeing from pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

Truvada is showing promising results, and many researchers are now saying that a full vaccine is just a couple years away. Sadly, it’s ungodly expensive at $14,000 a year.

Some types of cancers, certainly - those that can be specifically targetted as we learn more about their biology - analogous to CM Leukemia which Gleevec treats.
I’d say Alzheimers as well but more out of blind optimism than being aware of any recent breakthrough. It’s gotten the whole 9 yards from pharma, and a cure would be a license to print money. I think weight of research effort has to tell eventually.

We’re also way overdue a breakthrough in pain - particularly neuropathic pain. Assuming the copper bracelets mentioned on the other thread don’t work out, it’s still possible that we might see a new analgesic in our lifetimes. Given that the frontline therapy for serious pain is a plant alkaloid discovered 3000 years ago, with real side effects, you can safely say that it’s been slow going in pain pharmacology. It’s a horribly complicated field, with the worst placebo effect in medicine, but on the plus side it’s a rare example of a CNS state that has half-decent animal models.

The Carter Center has done amazing work with this. Unfortunately, every time it’s almost completely eradicated there’s a war or something in one country or another, which is very bad for anti-disease measures.

My friend who was doing some research in pain meds is leaving her job in September, so consider all pain medication breakthroughs stopped! :wink:

I’m hoping everyone gets over their fear of stem cell research and we can get somewhere with that. Maybe wipe out Parkinsons and MS.

Speaking of Hep C - I just got done reading this article here about a nano-particle cure. It’s an interesting approach. I have no idea if it’s feasible. It’s got to be cheaper than liver transplants, though.


My HS crush did her dissertation on how metabolism effects diabetes.

I don’t know how you define cure, but obesity surgery has been found to put type II diabetes into remission nearly 70-80% of the time (people’s diabetes goes into remission within days usually). So there is already a highly effective intervention for that.

Also, this isn’t a ‘disease’, but my understanding is stem cell creations of new organs using scaffolds is coming along well, and is probably not too far off from hitting the market (we already can make simple things like tracheaes and bladders and implant them in people, more complex organs that work are already being made, just not implanted. I think it has to do with getting the capillary system set up properly). So whatever disorders are due to permanently damaged organs (heart failure, COPD and other respiratory problems, hearts permanently damaged by heart attacks, cirrhosis, etc) could be curable within a reasonable time frame.