Last year, Vice President Joe Biden made news promising a “moonshot” approach toward facilitating cancer research. His announcement was inspired by his son Beau’s untimely death from brain cancer. While experts appreciate Biden’s dedication to the cause, some are warning against unrealistic expectations for a cure in the near future.
In an editorial that appeared last January in the Washington Post, cancer researcher Vinay Prasad of Oregon Health and Science University compared Biden’s vision to previous lofty promises that ultimately fizzled. Prasad went on to examine the various proposals, considering the likelihood of each to succeed.
- Speedier approval of cancer drugs
Prasad compares the impact of this factor to “thinking you can run a faster mile by buying a new stopwatch.” Although the FDA has already demonstrated a willingness to approve most cancer drugs, their actions have no affect whatsoever on the effectiveness of these drugs.
- Analysis and application of past successes
Some have suggested working backwards to study individuals with a positive response to treatment and extrapolating those findings to other patients. The problem lies in proving a direct correlation between their improvement and the drugs that were used as opposed to other unrelated factors.
Therapies that boost a patient’s own immune response to cancer, such as those used at our immuno-oncology center, were cited by Biden as a promising answer. But several immunotherapy drugs have already been developed, with many more studies in progress, so that’s hardly a novel suggestion.
You can count on receiving state-of-the-art treatments at our Issels® immuno-oncology center. Visit our website for more information about our non-toxic individualized protocols.