- So half of us will get cancer
It throws our previous “mutation” theory of carcinogenesis on it’s head, as an undergrad I designed my own little project to investigate this (much to the amusement of my old school cancer biology professor) before it was cool
cancers are not just caused by mutated genes, but also caused epigenetic changes though the change in methylation state of promoters plus histone & chromatin changes.Posted 4 years ago
its not random detail
For laymen, it is. The standard Knudson hypothesis is nice and easy for non-biologists to get their heads around.
For me and you, epigentics is much more relevant and even then it still makes a lot of Biologists heads implode in on themselves. I guess trying to explain chromosomal instability and it’s role in cancer is a bit beyond a lot of laymen as well though.Posted 4 years ago
and the paper you linked to was lol
That’s the thing with cancer though, people expect definite answers to causes and definitive cures. People quite often ask why we haven’t found a cure yet, I was simply trying to point out there may never be a cure. It’s hard explaining the latest breakthroughs to the public as there are no easy answers and I also can’t be bothered to try . If people are interested they can read that paper and have a rummage around wiki.
I’m glad it’s not my job to interact with the public in regards to scientific matters.Posted 4 years agodickyhepburnMember
Please go an buy a copy of Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science to see how the media and vested interest groups manipulate statistics and science. Alternatively go to to wikipedia and look up epidemiological transition to better understand this effectPosted 4 years ago
Please go an buy a copy of Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science to see how the media and vested interest groups manipulate statistics and science. Alternatively go to to wikipedia and look up epidemiological transition to better understand this effect
What does Ben Goldacres “Bad Science” have to do with this discussion?
Please, please don’t tell me you think that cancer could be cured but that there’s some global conspiracy meaning that vested interests stop that from happening.Posted 4 years agodickyhepburnMember
Oh god no! Just meant that we shouldn’t take media headlines at face value, we should actually look at what is being reported and try to understand the data. Headlines such as this will worry many people and allow vested interest groups (usually a financial interest) to exploit this worry, whereas an appreciation of the data (in this case the effect of an ageing population on geriatric disease incidence) can allow people to make informed decisions based upon more than a soundbitePosted 4 years agotonyg2003Subscriber
As lots of people have said here 50% of us will get cancer is mainly due to the longer lifespans we now have. Plus it depends on your definition of cancer and finally we are getting better at detecting cancer via molecular diagnostics. Not really “news” but it will fill CRUKs coffers a bit more.Posted 4 years agoathgrayMember
I am struggling a bit with the statistics. If the main cause of the increased incidence of cancer is higher life expectancy, then surely the 50% figure is constantly changing and therefore not relevant to anybody.
Typically, the life expectancy of someone who is 60 now, is different to someone who is 30 now, and is different again to a newborn now.Posted 4 years ago
Prostate cancer is misleading 70-80% of men have it at autopsy but most are asymptomatic
The most routine test is for prostate specific antigen, and its a very poor test for malignant cancer
Its routinely used in american health insurance required check-ups, and throws up loads of false positives, which are immediately jumped on by the healthcare providers and insurance companies then put up premiums making people uninsurable , problem is that the prostate cancer would’ve never become malignant in most cases so people go thru completely unecssary and very unpleasant cancer therapy
Cue rent a hack Daniel Hannan and prize muppet Glen Beck, using prostate cancer in the Obamacare debate as an example of terrible survival rates comparing US to the UK completely ignoring the huge difference in the numbers diagnosed
Anyway cancer is really over 200 diseases with different prognoses and treatments its a freaking nightmare!Posted 4 years ago
What Fallsoffalot? As said above cancer is a group of diseases that are not all the same. I’d say if they found something that cured one and kept the symptoms at bay then they would release both. As much as it’s popular to brand big pharma as bastards of the highest order they are also human beings and a lot of good scientists in there.Posted 4 years ago
That kind of stuff doesn’t happen often, as invariably word gets out and universities suffer damage to their reputations. Also, academic scientists have their own reputations on the line so are unlikely to want to get involved with academic fraud. It can and does ruin careers.
hmmm Yes your probably right its just a thought i had years ago.
but cant help thinking how much money is involved
Okay, for the laymen here, there will never be a magic bullet cure for cancer no matter how much or how little money is involved. Cancer is to complicated and is effectively always evolving. Maybe in 50 years, nano-engineering or surgical advances will take off in such a way that we could eradicate 100 percent of cancer cells from the body…. until that time, there’s never going to be a pharmacological treatment that cures cancer.Posted 4 years ago
my cynical nature tells me that why push one drug as a cure when you can push 10 cos, you know, you need this one to mask the side effects of that one and repeat.
Do you know how long it takes and how much it costs to get a drug to market? Working ones won’t get put back in the box.Posted 4 years ago
kimbers – my cynical nature tells me that why push one drug as a cure when you can push 10 cos, you know, you need this one to mask the side effects of that one and repeat
I’m a bit tipsy but…
Because every cancer is markedly different and constantly evolves, rendering one drug that was once exceptionally effective totally ineffective 6 months later. Not to mention that any treatment given quite often just ends up selecting the few drug resistant cancer cells found in the tumor for further expansion, whilst killing off the rest, even before the cancer cells genome rearranges itself.
As I’ve said, academics who aren’t involved with big money could tell you that there is currently no hope for a magic bullet. You could throw the entire budget of the US military at cancer research and you wouldn’t walk away with a cure.
Any company that produces some amazeballs treatment for most types of cancer, would find themselves with a monopoly overnight and would be able to eclipse just about every other company on the planet in terms of revenue.Posted 4 years ago
CG your cynical nature is in overdrive there !
Drug companies certainly have been guilty of putting profit before ethics, sadly governments aren’t willing to invest the kind of money it takes to develop drugs themselves
Fortunately there are 1000s of dedicated researchers and medics and even pharma employees ! who spend their careers studying cancer and improving treatmentsPosted 4 years ago
As evidenced by the huge leaps in survival rates for some cancers in the last few decades
Often the pay is crap, the hours are long and the work is stressful, if you aren’t engaged and passionate about research you don’t do the job
Ok lets pretend pharma’s have a magic bullit and the 50% of us who gets cancer gets one dose of the magic bullit. cured.Posted 4 years ago
And lets pretend pharma’s have a remedy that keeps symtoms at bay and the 50% need to take the remedy for the rest of their life.
the extra money would be mind boggling.
Not saying this happens just what could happen when the suits get involved 😈martinxyzMember
I thought the story was something like the drugs are there and waiting to be produced, they talk of the costs and the big players end up saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’..leaving all the research and development a big waste of time and money, so they’ve given up as they spend so much money only for this to happen over and over? Then there’s the other stories of drugs (cures?) needed ready and waiting but there’s far too much money to lose in all the current drugs that are being used for treatment, so it’s not likely to go ahead. Or have I been reading too much crap from mirror.co.uk? :O)Posted 4 years ago
Possibly any reading of the mirror is a mistake but I’m not quite sure what you mean.
Is it that you think there are working drugs ready to be made but not being made? Or stuff that has got to a point and development has stopped for a number of reasons, cost may only be a very small part of it.
The big issue is all of this costs money, things hit the market and the drug company has a limited time when they have the exclusive license to that drug. After that anyone can make it by following a recipe. The cost of the drug development needs to be recouped from the period that it is commercially viable plus the costs of all the ones that didn’t work. Problem then comes that health providers won’t pay the higher prices for the drugs, due to benefit and budget reasons. They also know that the drug will be available in a generic form down the line.
So it comes down to who should fund it all after that, the risk taker gets the reward, if there is no reward then the risk is too great.Posted 4 years ago
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