Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Future of Cancer: Detection or Cure ?

On the flight over th JPMorgan I read a Wired Magazine article titled the Truth about Cancer.

If you can find cancer early, 90 percent of the time it can be cured through a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Detect it late and the chances of survival are 10 percent. These statistics are somewhat of a generalization for all cancers but its generally true.

One in three people will get cancer in their lifetime. If we could find it early we would fix it for most people. Yet the money isn't going in this direction yet. Only 8 percent of NIH funding ($300MM) is going towards detection.
A cure for cancer is so much more exciting than complex tests for detection. The venture industry is geared up, and has lost a lot of money funding these cures.

Siemens has invested in diagnostics. SVC has invested in three diagnostics companies, and every week we come across interesting biomarkers for cancer that are being converted into tests. Its early days of some fascinating developments that should really start to make an impact on survival in the next decade.
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