For over six decades reductionist approaches to cancer chemotherapies including recent immunotherapy for solid tumors produced outcome failure-rates of 90% (±5) according to governmental agencies and industry. Despite tremendous public and private funding and initial enthusiasm about missile-therapy for site-specific cancers, molecular targeting drugs for specific enzymes such as kinases or inhibitors of growth factor receptors, the outcomes are very bleak and disappointing. Major scientific reasons for repeated failures of such therapeutic approaches are attributed to reductionist approaches to research and infinite numbers of genetic mutations in chaotic molecular environment of solid tumors that are bases of drug development. Safety and efficacy of candidate drugs tested in test tubes or experimental tumor models of rats or mice are usually evaluated and approved by FDA. Cost-benefit ratios of such ‘targeted’ therapies are also far from ideal as compared with antibiotics half a century ago. Such alarming records of failure of clinical outcomes, the increased publicity for specific vaccines (e.g., HPV or flu) targeting young and old populations, along with increasing rise of cancer incidence and death created huge and unsustainable cost to the public around the globe. This article discusses a closer scientific assessment of current cancer therapeutics and vaccines. We also present future logical approaches to cancer research and therapy and vaccines.
Clinical and Translational Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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