SEBASTOPOL, CA — How are cancer cures developed? A step at a time, as a progression of clinical trials incrementally shows which treatment variation is better.
Enrollment in clinical trials is necessary if steady progress is to be made. In childhood cancers, enrollment in clinical trials is 60%. Because of the high percentage of families participating, the cure rate for childhood cancer has jumped from a meager 10% in 1970 to today’s overall survival rate of almost 70%. By contrast, adult cancers typically have only 3% of patients enrolled in trials. Trials which take years to fill mean that treatment advances are slow and expensive.
For high-risk cancers, clinical trials offer possible access to promising new treatments. Many promising biological treatments, such as Gleevec and Iressa, are currently being tested on a range of cancers.