Advances in cancer treatment. The war on cancer is 40 years old and where are we? With a long way to go. The National Cancer Institute has published a series of summaries of where we were and where we are going with cancer treatment. They cover colorectal, breast, cervical, prostate, and brain cancers in detail and provide some insights into what specifically in what they are working on. However the general cancer one is disappointingly brief. They summarize the cancer treatment in the world of tomorrow as:
"* We will exploit our rapidly increasing knowledge of genetics, molecular biology, and immunology to develop even more effective and less toxic treatments for cancer. This knowledge will also allow us to detect cancer earlier, when it is most treatable, and to individualize patient care.
* We will continue our efforts to expand knowledge of and access to palliative care, to eliminate cancer-related health disparities, and to ensure the best possible outcomes for all cancer patients."
This tells me that while they have made advances with individual cancers (which sound pretty darn technical) they have not made advances overall. Cancer is actually hundreds of different diseases, not just one. While its nice to see some advances, we need some real advances and cures.
Think of it this way, if we are in a war on cancer, the front lines aren't moving but every so often we win a little skirmish.