A website to provide support for people who have or have had any type of cancer, for their caregivers and for their family members.

ddessert

For Today's Patients

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Time for a little rant about cancer research.

I would like to see more research devoted towards helping today's cancer patients.

Not for early detection - we already got it.
Not for prevention - we already got it.
Not for a treatment in 10 years - we won't be here.

For Today's Patients. The ones going through it right now. The ones whose surviving family you'll solicit for money after we're gone.

I have two very concrete research proposals to help today's patients.

First, match currently available treatments to patients. Like what's been done for breast cancer with ER/HR/PR status determining treatment type. Every pancreatic cancer treatment works well on a subgroup of patients. Find out why! These are already-approved treatments and thousands of us are getting them. We visit the hospital all the time. You draw our blood all the time. Dedicate some research dollars to this and we can give the right treatments to the right patients. We'll live longer, be happier, and probably be able to fund-raise and donate more money in the future.

Second, please find the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) for each treatment! Currently, we are given the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) of each drug. This is set during phase 1 clinical trials and is the maximum dose humans can tolerate before having severe symptoms - effectiveness is not a criteria! It runs under the assumption that more chemo is better. Finding the MED is more work, but the benefits to Today's Patients are enormous. Fewer side effects. Less nausea. More life!

My message for cancer research is this: Do these two things for Today's Patients who've already got it.

Updated 10-15-2015 at 08:44 PM by ddessert

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Comments

  1. po18guy's Avatar
    Very hard to disagree. The excellent/long term responders possess some factor - either in their tumor cells, or in their immune system, that has placed them in the forefront. This is one area in which government research might be helpful, as they are definitely not profit driven. MTD is a concept from the stone-age of chemotherapy, when maximum doses were all that was known. It was likely driven by the then-current belief that chemotherapy was "the cure." Viewed strictly as an upper limit, MTD is good to know, but should not be the only factor investigated.