We’re getting close to the end of our rounds of voting, looking this month at the last decade to see what recent advances were the most significant.
In 2001, Druker and colleagues published the trials of imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia in patients with the Philadelphia chromosome abnormality, which ushered in the era of cancer drugs designed to target specific molecular abnormalities.
A 2002 study from the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group found that modifications in diet and physical activity reduced the incidence of diabetes by 58%, as compared with metformin, which reduced diabetes incidence by 31%. Prior to this trial, it was not known to what extent diabetes could be prevented.
A 2002 article was the culmination of a 20-year exploration that began with the identification of the link between human papillomaviruses (HPV) and cervical cancer. The results of the double-blind, randomized study of 2392 young women showed 100% efficacy in reducing the incidence of HPV-16-related cervical cancer nearly 1.5 years after completion of the vaccination regimen.
A study published in 2004, PROVE-IT, compared moderate lipid lowering with pravastatin and intensive lipid lowering with atorvastatin in patients after an acute coronary syndrome. Over a mean follow-up period of two years, those treated with the intensive lipid-lowering regimen had better outcomes. Atorvastatin thus became a standard adjunct to the medical regimen for such patients, regardless of their baseline LDL level.
A 2008 report of the trial of glucose lowering in diabetics showed that patients in the intensive glucose-lowering arm (glycated hemoglobin target = 6%) had both increased rates of cardiovascular events and higher all-cause mortality than the 7.5% arm.
Past voting rounds selected the beginning of ether anesthesia, the first description of platelets, the beginning of bone marrow transplantation, studies on an attenuated measles vaccine, the first oral ACE inhibitor, the knowledge that aspirin prevents heart attacks, and first treatment of stroke.
Next month, we’ll be considering possible advances for the next decade. What progress do you think we’ll see by 2020? Send us your suggestions, or comment here.