chronic When I first started working as a medical reporter for almost 40 years, I learned that cancer spread can never be cured, just relieved. It was before hearing a talk about how the new drug cisplatin was about to make rule-over-death exception for boys and young men with widespread testicular cancer.
Today, there are also examples of several other common cancers on how the new treatments not only provide relief, but also extend life and even heal a growing number of cancer patients. Many still remember the elements of TV during the Nobel Prize with patients cured of malignant melanoma previously incurable thanks to the new immunological treatments against the cancer developed by the winner of last year, James Allison and Tasuku Honjo.
Most of the innovations in cancer treatment came about thanks to the findings of basic research. So it was also with Herceptin, the drug that greatly improved the prognosis for women with HER2-positive breast cancer worldwide.
The HER2 protein gene was discovered by cancer researcher Robert Weinberg. In an interview with him before being promoted to honorary doctorate at Uppsala University in May 2007, he said:
"For example, who could have predicted that the research we did in 1981 on a brain tumor in mice 20 years later would contribute to the development of the drug Herceptin ? "
Although only a fraction of all research on new cancer treatments, which has continued basic research, has given the full measure, we can expect new and important discoveries in the coming years.