Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education, located in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this week presented its 9th annual list of “Top 10 Medical Innovations” of up-and-coming technologies and drug therapies that are likely to have major breakthrough impact on healthcare and on improving patient care in 2015.

This year the list included fast, painless blood-testing, and a novel intra-operative radiation approach for breast cancer. A panel of 110 Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists made the selection. Michael Roizen, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer, and 10 of the Clinic’s physician leaders presented the highly anticipated list during the 12th Annual Medical Innovation Summit

Personalized Medicine
Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit, held from October 26 – 29, 2014 in downtown Cleveland, examined the latest innovations in cancer treatment and personalized medicine, while bringing together more than 1,500 executives, investors, entrepreneurs and clinicians.


In an effort to inspire innovation across industries, the summit offered new sessions including “Innovation Base Camp,” a half-day huddle on implanting a culture of innovation and “New Ventures in Healthcare Challenge,” a competition which will connect angel investors and venture capitalists with entrepreneurs.

Pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and devices
With over 1.6 million new cancer cases and over 585,000 cancer deaths in the United States each year, the Summit featured a large variety of healthcare stakeholders from executives in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and devices to information technology leaders, payers, investors, and entrepreneurs who discussed the most promising market-ready approaches to curbing cancer’s devastating impact.

The Summit, titled, Now, it’s Personal took a deep look at how targeted, personalized therapies are changing the game in the cancer market.

“This is an exciting time for cancer research with many groundbreaking advancements that will change the future of cancer detection, therapy, and treatment,” noted Brian J. Bolwell, MD, Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. “The Medical Innovation Summit fostered a collaborative atmosphere and brought together some of the nation’s most renowned business and thought leaders in cancer with the goal of revolutionizing the delivery of cancer care and getting these ideas to market.”

Cancer is personal
“Cancer is personal for all of us,” said Gary Fingerhut, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. “The latest breakthroughs in personalized cancer treatment as well as changes to the healthcare ecosystem require candid discussions with all stakeholders to ensure we work and innovate together for the benefit of patients everywhere.”

This year, the list also includes antibody-drug conjugates and checkpoint inhibitors.

Antibody-Drug Conjugates
Presenting the highly anticipated list, Roizen and his colleagues explained that while chemotherapy can be the only form of treatment available for the treatment of some cancers, it destroys cancer cells and harms healthy cells at the same time. “Antibody-drug conjugates are therfore a promising new approach for the treatment of advanced cancer because they selectively delivers cytotoxic agents to tumor cells while avoiding normal, healthy tissue.”

Checkpoint Inhibitors
Another promising treatment on the list of up-and-coming technologies and drug therapies included immune checkpoint inhibitors. “Using immune checkpoint inhibitors physicians have made significantly more progress against advanced cancer than they’ve achieved in decades. Combined with traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the novel drugs boost the immune system and offer significant, long-term cancer remissions for patients with metastatic melanoma, and there is increasing evidence that they can work on other types of malignancies,” Roizen said.

Single-Dose Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
The last cancer related technology in the “Top 10” included single-dose intra-operative radiation therapy or IORT for breast cancer. Commenting on the importance of this choice, Roizen and his colleagues explained: “Finding and treating breast cancer in its earliest stages can oftentimes lead to a cure. For most women with early-stage breast cancer, a lumpectomy is performed, followed by weeks of radiation therapy to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. IORT, focuses the radiation on the tumor during surgery as a single-dose, and has proven effective as whole breast radiation.”