Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bad news for cancer cells

In today's WSJ, on page A17, there is an article titled "The New Ways We Fight Cancer" by Samuel Waxman and Richard Gambino, oncologist and philosopher, respectively. Here's a summary of the good news for us:

* Over 5,000 fewer patients are dying every year from cancer! - a 1.1% yearly decline.
* Vaccines, such as the one for cervical cancer (although one wonders why mothers are not managing their nine-year-olds enough to not warrant this particular vaccine), are being developed and used for prevention of several cancers; also, research is progressing on one for hepatitis C.
* Epigenetics, a.k.a. using special proteins to change the mutated, cancer-causing genes back to their normal selves.
* Targeted therapies, a.k.a. "personalized molecular profiles" - because all cases of breast cancer are not caused by the exact same protein.
* Targeting suspected "cancer stem cells" - stem cells more likely to mutate and wreak havoc.

No comments: