The 12 most important health innovations of the year

Popular Science | 10/17/2017 | Staff
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Tumors are sly. To survive, the cells bypass our immune systems by retaining similarities to healthy cells. But they also have differences. Over the past decade, researchers have targeted these unique traits to re-enlist the body’s department of defense. Immunotherapies train our own systems to detect those distinct variances. This year, that effort took a huge leap: The FDA approved Kymriah, the first human gene-­edited therapy for cancer.

The treatment modifies a patient’s T cells (specialized white blood cells) to add a receptor that locates the malignant ones so...
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