Changing Strategies in the War on Cancer
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Early Diagnosis – The New Paradigm
The National Cancer Act signed in 1971 officially started what is commonly referred to as the “war against cancer.”
Since the signing of the bill, billions of dollars have been used towards “a total national commitment towards the conquest of cancer” with a stated goal of “finding a cure.” Government spending has been tremendously beneficial, providing funding for basic cancer research which is the foundation for new cancer treatments. As a result of ongoing research we now have a tremendous wealth of information, a better understanding of cancer biology and many novel treatments.
The Complexities in Manufacturing Highly Potent Anti-Cancer Medicines
For decades, the hallmark of medical treatment for cancer and hematological malignancies has been intravenous cytotoxic chemotherapy. These drugs target rapidly dividing cells, including cancer cells and certain normal tissues. As a result, many patients experience the classic toxicities of alopecia, gastrointestinal symptoms, and myelosuppression.
But how we treat these diseases has changed dramatically in the past decades. While traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the treatment of choice, targeted therapies are now a major component in our arsenal in the war on cancer. These novel targeted anti-cancer drug therapies have been designed to block the growth and spread of certain cancers by interfering with specific molecules – called molecular targets – that are involved in the growth, progression, and spread of cancer and hematological malignancies.
Improving Outcomes in the Treatment of Breast Cancer
Over the last 25 years, there has been an explosion of new and vitally important, anticancer drugs.
The development of these promising new therapeutic agents is generally based on preclinical and clinical research. In many cases, this research has, become prohibitively expensive. And only a relatively few investigational drugs have reached the market and successfully improved clinical outcomes in the treatment of patients with cancer and hematological malignancies. In the development of new therapies, the traditional clinical trial process of determining which drugs will ultimately benefit patients is long and expensive.
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