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Aesclepius said "let food be your medicine and medicne your food" Drug treatment of cancer: No progress in three

decades. The March 22, 2004 issue of Fortune (PDF) has an excellent article which shows that there has been no r eal progress in the treatment of the most common forms of cancer. Entitled "War on Cancer: Why the New Drugs Di sappoint," the article cites NCI data showing that US cancer mortality rates have increased and age-adju sted cancer mortality rates in response to treatment have not improved in several decades, despite the int roduction of many new drugs. The article indicts the "cancer investigator" culture, which prizes the exh austive examination of trivial hypotheses, while eschewing support of "cancer discoverer" type research, a ttempting to create entirely new paradigms of cancer treatment. In the words of the author, a large and broa d group of "experts offered testimony that, when taken together, describes a dysfunctional 'cancer cult ure' -- a groupthink that pushes tens of thousands of physicians and scientists toward the goal of finding t he tiniest improvements in treatment rather than genuine breakthroughs; that ... rewards academic achi evement and publication over all else." The author goes on to note that "investigators rely on models that are consistently lousy at predicting success -- to the point where hundreds of cancer drugs are thrust into the pipeline, and many are approved by the FDA, even though their proven 'activity' has little to do with curing c ancer." The article specifically condemns the acceptance of models for cancer treatment (e.g. mouse models, established cell line models, molecular mechanisms) which have been of limited relevance to drug activity in real human cancer. The above are the precise points which I have been making in publications w hich date back more than 20 years. The great failing of academic clinical oncology in the area of cell culture drug resistance testing with cell death endpoints is not that clinical oncology has failed to embrace th e technology, but that academic clinical oncology has refused even to consider and test the ability of the technology to improve cancer treatment in clinical trials, while carrying out hundreds of clinical trial s of one-size-fits-all therapy in tens of thousands of patients which tested trivial hypotheses and produced no progr ess.