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The Conspiracy To End Cancer ~ from TIME Magazine

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I felt this is important. I believe Steve (colocan) posted about this last week. It's by no means the end-all as far as Cancer discussions go but I found it to be an interesting read and also a good approach for dealing with the complexity of Cancer. This is just the intro to the article. I posted the entire article at the link below. All I ask is that everyone fights nicely...
 Cool

The Conspiracy To End Cancer

By Bill Saporito -  "Borrowed" from TIME Magazine for those who don't have a subscription.

TIME

The hero scientist who defeats cancer will likely never exist.

No exalted individual, no victory celebration, no Marie Curie or Jonas Salk, who in 1955, after he created the first polio vaccine, was asked, So what's next? Cancer?--as if a doctor finished with one disease could simply shift his attention to another, like a chef turning from the soup to the entrée.

Cancer doesn't work that way. It's not just one disease; it's hundreds, potentially thousands. And not all cancers are caused by just one agent--a virus or bacterium that can be flushed and crushed. Cancer is an intricate and potentially lethal collaboration of genes gone awry, of growth inhibitors gone missing, of hormones and epigenomes changing and rogue cells breaking free. It works as one great armed force, attacking by the equivalent of air and land and sea and stealth, and we think we're going to take it out with what? A lab-coated sniper?

"This disease is much more complex than we have been treating it," says MIT's Phillip Sharp. "And the complexity is stunning."

I posted the entire article here...

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Very interesting ...... would have been happier reading this had I seen there was a wonderful team working on advances in colon cancer .....

manwithnoname
Posts: 390
Joined: Jun 2012

Instead of investigating every cancer, pick one and divert all energy and funding there.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

and no doubt you'd pick one that your son is dealing with. I would too if it were my son. And people on the EC would pick that one, and so on and so forth...

I think that this approach is far better than what they have been doing and (in my opinion) the benefits of what they find will help with dealing with all cancers which is the ultimate goal. 

"This disease is much more complex than we have been treating it," says MIT's Phillip Sharp. "And the complexity is stunning."

manwithnoname
Posts: 390
Joined: Jun 2012

everyone has a vested interest, but logicaly it would be the one affecting the most people.

Course it won't happen, but when I would have 3 or 4 projects on the go my wife would say 'focus' and she would be right, if we could cure one, it would make the second cure easier and so on...unfortunatley rare cancers would be last.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

I understand what you're saying and using the "business as usual" approach that's sadly (and unfairly) too often the case. Being an optimist I'm hoping that since they seem to (want to) be funding research differently that possibly the rarer cancers would get the attention they need sooner. Also, possibly if they can crack some of how cancer works that it could help ALL cancers. While they are different many do share certain attributes. 

manwithnoname
Posts: 390
Joined: Jun 2012

they are different but the same culprits keep comming up, P53, Pi3k, NOTCH,NfkappaB etc etc etc.

Just like a rubic cube, many ways to crack it...

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 642
Joined: Jan 2010

I find this statement form the article a very positive direction in the approach to research: "I am strongly anti-silo, strongly pro--breaking down barriers, bringing disciplines together, building collaborations and building dream teams".

 Colon cancer is brought up only twice :(  

Why do I always get the feeling that the general public sometimes seems to feel that those who get colorectal cancer (or at least those over the age of screening) are somehow to blame for their disease because they make an assumption they may not have had a colonoscopy.  Several individuals when learning of my husband's cancer made some sort of comment questioning whether he had had colonoscopy screenings.  Do you think this idea extends to researchers as well and that may influence why colorectal does not get as much attention? I suppose even if it does ... this type of collaborative, team approach can benefit all cancer research, including colorectal.

Phil, when I first went to the Time site I saw that you had to subscribe ... it was very helpful for you to place this article on the site for us. -- Cynthia

 

A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.

 

 

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4659
Joined: May 2005

While colon cancer may have only been mentioned twice, I am hopeful that what they find will help (hopefully) everyone. The accountable team approach makes sense (to me at least)

I haven't noticed any sense of blame from people but then again, I was 46 when DX so it was before the 50 yr. Birthday Present is usually administered. I wonder how many who question your husband have had a colonoscopy? My guess would be not all of them. Cancer happens to OTHER people, remember?

I think colon cancer has gotten a lot of press ever since Katie Couric's husband died from it. Of course it's not breast cancer...

You're very welcome about my posting the entire article. I really felt it was worth sharing with everyone and when I saw one needed a subscription to view it all I felt even stronger about making the post. I even included the graphic! The iPad version has more images but I didn't want to go too nuts with it. Most were photos of people although there were some interesting charts. Maybe if I get bored I'll add them!

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 945
Joined: Oct 2010

I believe colon cancer technologies hit the realm of engineerability 10-12 years ago, perhaps 20 years ago depending on how you consider the (very slow) recognition of leucovorin, cimetidine, PSK, UFT, natural quinones, COX2 inhibitors, and various biomarkers.  Important, cheap CRC technologies are underused, unused, and misused.  

Patentability and complexity are touted for their financial advantage rather than an immediate, true results orientation.  Many biomarkers overlap and the seeming infinite combinations of biomarkers and pathways share a lot of resolvable commonality that should be individualized better than is currently commercial.  To me, we are deep in research for the processes of marketing and price formation,  not engineering, often reworking problems without applying important previous gains in the interim.    

This doesn't mean all problems are (re)solved or that all the science is certain, but rather there are sufficient data and techniques to build roughly workable models that function more reliably and predictably.  If airplanes were designed medically, we would have airliners falling out of the sky every day.  

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