I admire President Biden for trying for a cancer cure moonshot but unfortunately, cancer is not just one disease; it’s many with a range of different causes, physiologies, and treatments. What treatment works in one patient may not work in another but we have to keep trying to beat cancer anyway we can.
(Stat News) Today, a study followed 380 patients being treated at community oncology groups across the U.S. after they were diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. They told the researchers that insurance didn’t protect them from serious money problems. While 98% of them had insurance, 71% fell deeper into debt, took out a new loan, sold or refinanced a home, or experienced at least a 20% decline in income — or a combination of these over the year they answered quarterly surveys.
KEY TAKEAWAY: A two minute story on the evening news about a new cancer drug doesn’t answer enough questions for people who may want to know more before meeting with their doctor. Biopharma companies need to set realistic expectations when it comes to new drugs and they need to be a credible source of medical information for patients, but all too often their websites are a billboard that says “ask your doctor about me”.
Correspondent Scott Pelley and more than a few doctors and patients were throwing around the word “cure” during a 60 Minutes segment on cancer Sunday. Eleven of the 22 patients treated so far died, but the other 11 have seen their tumors shrink. Three featured in the story are cancer-free. Even with these promising results we have to remember that these are Phase I trials.