Topics » Health   Dec. 22, 2011

If It's Not a War on Cancer, What Is It?

A Fight for Peace?

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Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

A Wildfire?A Tide?A Fight for Peace?Our Moonshot Moment?A Battle With Love?A Team Sport?A Multi-Fronted War?

A Fight for Peace?

Tyler E. Jacks, director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, says: "Cancer is complex and to achieve success will require a different type of effort than one wages in war. It's more like trying to achieve world peace. It's a laudable goal but we all recognize the complexity of trying to do so. It's not one achievable end but something that's going to change as we go. At the same time, cancer in an individual is ever-changing. When you treat cancer with drug X, if it's not fully successful, the cancer will develop a resistance and we're off to trying to discover some new solution. When this effort started 40 years ago, we knew virtually nothing about cancer at the molecular level. It was a classic black box. We now understand the disease very well, but we still have a long way to go. It's an ever-evolving process."

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