Monday, November 23, 2015

“Only four (4) U.S. Food & Drug Administration-approved therapies in the last 30 years”

That’s quote from the National Brain Tumor Society website posting regarding “Clinical Trial Endpoints”:
Does four (4) seem low to you? It seems low to me.

The NBTS posting puts that in perspective: “With nearly 700,000 Americans living with a brain tumor, and only four (4) U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapies in the last 30 years, and no cure – the needs of the brain tumor community are clear. Brain tumor patients need new therapies that will either eradicate their brain tumor or better manage the tumor and its manifestations; as many brain tumor patients also experience adverse changes in their physical, cognitive, and psycho-social well-being which significantly impacts their ability to maintain ‘normal’ lives while receiving treatment.”

A couple of numbers popped out of this paragraph and uncomfortably whacked my eyeballs: “four (4)”, “30 years” and “700,000”.

We continue to spend significant $ (and $$$) on research and have only got four (4) new approved therapies in the last 30 years? What’s going on?

While I’m not smart enough or insightful enough to diagnosis this issue, I think part of it traces to Clifton Leaf’s observation that “the public’s immense investment in research has been badly misspent”. He notes that scientists seldom collaborate and share their data, why new drugs are so, so expensive and why young scientists are “…now abandoning the search for a cure.”

If you want to know more I highly recommend that you read his well-researched and documented book, “The Truth in Small Doses”:

At the same time, I am more than glad that the NBTS is attempting to bring all the disparate parties together to, well, work together.

It’s about time.


PS - Sorry, I just don't have the energy today to write the right amount of outrage or incredulity into this post. Feel free to add your own.


Jenafer said...

Thank you for your words. I have followed your page for a while now. I had brain tumor surgery to remove a large "benign" meningioma about six months ago. I say benign because that only identified the tissue type, it almost killed me. Thank you for your efforts.

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