Researchers see better treatments for cancer

1 min read

Patients may live for decades rather than years

“Before the development of insulin, diabetes was as deadly as many cancers are today,” says Harvard researcher Joseph Paul Eder, who is testing Endostatin on patients with advanced cancers. “In a couple of decades, people may be able to live 30 to 40 years, or more, after being diagnosed with breast, prostate, or other cancers.” The hope that such drugs will play a key part in holding cancer under long-term control just as medications keep diabetes, asthma, and other chronic diseases in check. Successes with the tumor-choking drug Endostatin are leading researchers to believe they can keep cancer patients alive for many more years with the help of nontoxic drugs that don’t have the debilitating effects of large doses of chemotherapy and radiation. “Findings so far have shown that Endostatin has no serious side effects and that it stabilizes or even shrinks tumors,” adds Donald Kufe, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “With few if any side effects, this raises the possibility of keeping cancer under control for a lifetime.”