A question that looms large for anyone affected by cancer is whether there is, or will be, a cure on the horizon.
Despite the tremendous advances in science and technology over the last 40 years, cancer remains a stubbornly resistant killer disease.
Whilst certain aspects of treatment have improved, the amount of cancer fatalities around the world remain staggering.
According to the World Health Organisation, about 8.2 million people died from cancer during 2012.
But despite these statistics, this hasn’t stopped scientists and other thinkers from coming up with possible pathways to better treatment and – hopefully – a cure at some point in the future.
In recent times, there has been a lot of debate and discussion about how to deal with this global killer.
Back in 2011, notable figures in the cancer world got together on the Internet forum The Big Think to discuss cancer research and the possibility of a cure.
The panel featured:
- Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National Cancer Institute.
- Dr. Doug Schwartzentruber, Surgical Oncologist and professor of surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine;
- Dr. Deborah Schrag, Medical Oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
- Dr. Lewis Cantley, Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School;
- Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist and author of The Emperor of All Maladies.
Edited highlights included such topics as:
- a possible cure;
- how carcinogens cause cancer;
- the effect genetics is having on cancer research;
- whether cancer can cure itself;
- and why it attacks some tissues, but not others.
These are just some of the videos you can find online in which scientists suggest different approaches to the cancer puzzle.
Watching them, you might get the feeling that a major breakthrough might be on the horizon.