Cancer Cure – Not so Fast

Posted on January 31, 2007  Comments (0)

Follow up on Cheap, Safe Cancer Drug?: In which my words will be misinterpreted as “proof” that I am a “pharma shill”:

This drug has only been tested in cell culture and rats. Yes, the results were promising there, but that does not–I repeat, does not– mean the results will translate to humans. In fact, most likely, they will not. Those of us who’ve been in the cancer field a while know that all too common are drugs that kill tumors in the Petrie dish and in mice or rats but fail to be nearly as impressive when tested in humans.

Perhaps the blog post I quote above just resonates with me (see: confirmation bias). To me,it supports my contention in my “Cheap, Safe Cancer Drug?” post, though much more effectively and with supporting evidence. But this is my blog so I get to quote whoever I want, and it isn’t surprising I find those that share my thoughts to be the most compelling 🙂 Anyway the post I quote is definitely worth reading.

Related: Cancer Deaths – Declining Trend?Cancer-Killing VirusCancer cell ”˜executioner”™ found

True, the funding climate sucks these days, but Michelakis is funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and Canadian Foundation for Innovation. He’s perfectly free to apply to the NIH and other organizations for funding. Given such compelling preclinical data, hewould stand a very good chance of being funded.

Yes, it’s very easy and satisfying to take this promising preliminary study and build from it a conspiracy theory of evil big pharma “keeping cures from the people.” It’s just not very accurate and it adds too much heat and noise to the debate over the real shortcomings in our system of developing new drugs that make drug companies reluctant to pursue research on drugs that show promise but little profit potential. There are real, systemic problems with the financing of drug development and how drugs are marketed, but hyperbole and conspiracy theories don’t address these problems; they obscure them.

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