Posted by: Timo Ahopelto | March 4, 2010

100 years of cancer therapies

One thing in oncology is generally agreed: cancer is an unbeaten disease.

Also, it is agreed that the latest real advancements are diagnostics rather than treatments – and that all these are painstakingly incremental. 1/2 of us alive today will get cancer, 1/3 will die of it and we don’t have cure for metastatic cancer.

So, how is cancer then being treated today? Where is the future?

We still give radiotherapy and cytostatics, and do surgeries. The techniques and products have of course developed, but it still is something we put in practice 50 or 100 years ago. The newer treatments have added to the industry but usually lack the broadly-applicable break-through: new treatment modalities are badly needed.

Oncolytic viruses are one extremely promising avenue. They have mild to moderate side effects compared to routine therapies, can work broadly across cancer types, are tumor selective and have provided evidence on systemic response. They typically are pathway-specific, a strategy which the latest genome sequencers have raised as a potential future to manage this overly multidimensional genetic disease.

We took time to draw a high-level industry timeline for 100 years of cancer research and treatments. The summary of that is for your benefit below.

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