A Cure to Cancer?

Over time, cancer treatments will grow to be more available and cost friendly to the many. For now, we have to wait and continue researching until we find a cure.

Pritzker School of Medicine

Over time, cancer treatments will grow to be more available and cost friendly to the many. For now, we have to wait and continue researching until we find a cure.

Emma Safari, Photojournalist

Cancer, a disease that has become increasingly common, affects the day to day lives of many individuals. Approximately 40 percent of men and women will eventually be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes. (cancer.gov). Thousands of patients spend countless hours in the hospital fighting to stay healthy while their family members surround them and try to keep their spirits up.

“Each cancer patient has different reactions to cancer as well as the various treatments that are available. I do believe that a person’s ability to have hope for the future, have faith in their own body to fight the cancer as well as the overall health and wellness lifestyle of the patient makes a difference in the outcome.”

— Mrs. Church

Now, scientists believe that there may be a development within the medical field that could cause remission in more patients than ever. One of these patients who has gone into remission, is Dough Olson. He was suffering from leukemia, and has been a long term patient who has undergone over ten years of chemotherapy. One of these treatments being the use of CAR-T therapy. CAR-T therapy is an immunotherapy that uses specially altered T-Cells, which are a part of the human immune system, to fight the cancer cells.

The only downside is, CAR-T therapy does not work for all types of cancers. It is limited to cancers which include large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in pediatric and young adult patients up to age twenty five years old. 

So, if these cancer treatments are resulting in patient remission, why is it so unheard of? Millions and billions of dollars are spent annually to try and understand and cure the disease, but why haven’t we? 

With the dozens of types of cancers and even more mutations between strains, it is difficult to fully understand it. In addition, many of the clinical trials are still being undergone and are seeking approval by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. With cancer being such a widespread disease that continues to affect thousands yearly, treatments have to be thoroughly researched. 

However, others perceive the lack of treatment as the government holding developments back from the public. Many people believe that ‘Big Pharma’, which is composed of many rich and wealthy individuals, is holding back the cure in order to profit more from the payouts of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and other immunotherapies; both of which are very costly. However, over the past forty years, survival rates for cancer have nearly doubled. On the other hand, if a pharmaceutical company did invest billions of more dollars into finding the medical ‘pot of gold’, the price for the treatment would be incredibly high. 

One day, hopefully, healthcare professionals will discover a cure for cancer and spare thousands of families the expense and hardships of cancer.