New Medicines to Fight Cancer

New Medicines to Fight Cancer

04.05.11 | By

Just when you thought you knew enough about gene sequencing to at least smile knowingly if the phrase was dropped in conversation, now comes all the new stuff: Multiplexed deep sequencing, Fc-enhancement, emerging enabling OMIC technology platforms and new generation antibody conjugates.

These are just a few of the developments scientists shared when asked to explain the newest trends in cancer research. But if you're not a scientist, here's the inside scoop in laymen's terms: Technological advances are helping researchers learn more about cancer and at a faster pace than ever before.

These new insights and technologies are driving exciting new research and spurring a record number of medicines in development for cancer. Consider this: PhRMA's first report on cancer drugs in development, in 1988, celebrated the fact there were 65. Today, there are 863 [read report]. That's well over twice as many as just five years ago.

So just file away the fact that researchers know more about epithelial-mesenchymal interactions and are hopeful about unraveling the role of epigenesis and reprogramming of the genome in neoplastictransformation. Bottom line, big things are happening in cancer research, and hope is alive.

Here's how cancer specialist Dr. Scott Waldman puts it: "What we have learned has revealed not only the mechanistic basis of disease, but also the Achilles heel of individual types of cancer to which prevention, diagnosis and therapy can be targeted." Dr. Waldman, M.D., Ph.D. is a cancer specialist at the Kimmel Cancer Center and recognized this year by the PhRMA Foundation for his breakthrough work on colorectal cancer.

Echoing Winston Churchill's cautious optimism about ending World War II, Dr. Gary Neil, M.D., said, "We hopefully are looking to move on to the 'beginning of the end' for many cancers." Dr. Neil is corporate vice president of science and technology at Johnson & Johnson and chair of PhRMA's Science and Regulatory Affairs Executive Committee.

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