Cancer Drug Fails Test, and the Company's Stock Tumbles
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Since: Dec 05
#1 Dec 27, 2006
Instead of considering a drug that works only ten percent of the time a failure, it would be better to consider such a drug effective for one in ten tumors and to search for those that it works with. A pre-test to determine the efficacy of drugs in a patient could be the first crucial step in personalizing treatment to the individual.
Exciting results have come from studies of multitargeted, "small molecule" drugs that act on multiple receptors in the cancerous cells. Targeted "small-molecule" therapies ruled at the annual ASCO meeting of oncologists. The trend is away from the monoclonals to the small molecules.
Conventionally, chemotherapy is recommended according to guidelines generated by statistical data. According to the FDA, the response rate of a patient that follows these guidelines is approximately 20%. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, those who benefit substantially from "targeted" drugs make up a fairly smaller proportion of cancer patients. What if you are one of those few?
The new "smart" drugs are a really exciting element of cancer medicine. However, they are not for everyone. But don't throw out the baby with the bath water. All the more reason to "pre-test the tumor."
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