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Thursday, April 11, 2013

"The cure for cancer is getting closer"

The key to success of any Hollywood movie is the convening of a  cast  of luxury with the best names and talents. This same formula is the one that promises to defeat cancer, according to "shout" from the cover the  magazine  Time  and in unison the world's leading scientists studying cancer, now concentrated in the United States. The formula seemed exclusive showbiz now applies science to bring to its ultimate cure cancer. Breaking the paradigm of scientific research methodology where many scientists investigated in isolation and atomized and prepare true  Dream teams multidisciplinary operate as a true ecosystem that are "injected" by big money budgets, sustained over time so that they allowed to spend, investigate and thus multiply the results: short-term and life-saving. This is not a dream, and it is happening today in the United States. The real paradigm shift promoter was the  Foundation Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C, the acronym)  that was created to fight the deadliest disease in the United States. They estimate that in 2013 580,350 people die of cancer according to figures from theNational Cancer Institute (NCI) and other 1.7 million will be diagnosed. Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)  came to rock the boat. And nothing more nor less than from the very heart of Hollywood: in 2008, a team including the producer of Spider Man , Laura Ziskin , who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2011, the famous TV presenter, Katie Couric , who lost her husband to colon cancer in 1998, and the former CEO of Paramount,  Sherry Lansing  devised this foundation and also shod collecting costume. The idea of ​​Lansing-founder of SU2C-for cancer cure is simple and ambitious: to replicate how it works in Hollywood when you want to create a "tank" blockbuster in theaters: to bring the best and most talented scientists in the world, put to work together and fund a lot of money for that cause results soon. SU2C raises funds through foundations and corporate donors, private organizations and ordinary people who want to collaborate. Then he gives the money to the equipment for administering it and show results (have come to raise up to $ 18 million, compared with $ 500,000 grant typical handlers National Institutes of Health or NIH) in a time that can not exceed 3 years. The first key is to reorganize scientific research, "disarm" the isolation of researchers focused on their own achievements and c rear a true scientific ecosystem that involves all the links involved.One of the trainers of " dream teams "of  SU2C  is the famous  Dr. Philip Allen Sharp , Nobel Prize for his research on molecular biology and who is recruiting "special forces" in the fight against cancer. "The key is to develop genuine cooperative groups where the group is more important, the actors,  says Dr. Gustavo Jankilevich, medical oncologist, Head of Oncology, Hospital Durand and university specialist in oncologyThese groups are not just transdisciplinary doctors and researchers but should involve the pharmaceutical industry, governments and the patients themselves and their families. Planning is essential budgets but witnessing the current picture: the cost is infinite and priorities. We must be clear on this: the cure is available in most tumors, either by prevention or by smart therapies ",  reinforces Jankilevich .

Several heroes to come

As the article of  Time  "How to cure Cancer," cancer functions as an armed force that attacks by land, sea and sky. So it's not going to be possible only a hero to defeat, but it takes several. "This disease is much more complex than we have been trying," says Sharp. "And the complexity is impressive." No  dream team  today could dispense with biologists and geneticists, as two key disciplines that are here to stay in the run up to the cure. And certainly crucial hinge was the discovery and research on  the human genomeSequencing the first human genome took more than a decade and $ 2.7 billion dollars.The same sequence now ten years later you can do for a few thousand dollars in a few hours. "In the fight against cancer is what's next super-specialized medicine today and in this area, there is another way to work other than as a team. Transdisciplinary work has always enriched the medical work " ,  explains Dr. Maria Ines Bianconi, Medical Oncologist, Medical Officer floor and Breast Oncology Genito Durand HospitalIn response to the question: how close are we to a cure?, Noted that progress was  " slow because we had the potential for genetic diagnosis and reproductive cell lines to see which one can attack instead. And in that sense the Human Genome Project was the great central entrance door to another era in research on Cancer and other diseases ".

Treatments, what's next

The same Dr. Francis Collins, head of the NIH team who led the Human Genome Project, said: "I am strongly anti-silo (isolation of researchers), and very supportive of building dream team s work ". That is, most research projects under this new methodological style have the SU2C Foundation funding. Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson Cancer Center, is taking a similar approach from your program  Moon Shots : assemble multidisciplinary six groups for global attacks on eight types of cancer: lung, prostate, melanoma, breast, ovarian and three types leukemia. To DePinho, as in the effort to SU2C, teams will be judged by the results of the patient, not by the number of research articles published. "Among scientists, aspirations are not enough. Need achievements," he says. "Enough of accounting papers, points, but allocate sufficient budget, work, investigate and count how many lives have been saved." New therapies are certainly called  TARGETS  that are premised speed, key transdisciplinarity modern research. Before the cycle was pronounced cancer research each decade, now every three years. This kind of institutional transformation is not easy, but it is the only way to take advantage of the  stunning  scientific and technological advances that have occurred in just the last three years, the advances in bioengineering, nanotechnology, drug compounds, and collecting data, including proteins, data and data splice mutation. "Argentina has the  targets treatments are expensive but they are. And in municipal hospitals get the drugs needed. Targets therapies are directed against a receptor or enzymatic chain, is a medication aimed, specifically: the oldest is the  tamoxifemo , which changed the history of breast cancer. Another radical change was established targeted therapy  trastuzumab . Therapies are expensive, but again they are available in Argentina ",  adds Dr. Maria Ines Bianconi . "I would like to emphasize what we have today for a cancer cure at hand: it's a lot. Early diagnosis, clinical examination usual time reached carcinoma cured" defines Bianconi.

Drugmakers also closer

This progress of the treatment targets has prompted similar jumps in the pharmaceutical, hundreds of drugs are in the development of targeted therapies against genetic mutations have so far been identified and after trying to reactivate the body's immune system. New biomarkers are allowing doctors to identify, track cancer cells. What new?  expert  Mehmet Toner , a biomedical engineer and director of a SU2C backed team has designed and built  a smart chip to trap circulating tumor cells (CTCs)  in a blood sample. Many tumor cells released into the bloodstream, a TAG these cells can prevent "nesting" in another organ and begin to grow, forming a metastasis.Separatist cells are not easy to see but detecting their presence is essential to halt its spread. The role of CTC as a hunter is also being applied to lung cancer, where mutations can help steer powerful new therapies, to see how they change and evolve CTCs during treatment. With other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, where there are currently no mutations that can be taken into account, the CTC are being analyzed to see if you can uncover new vulnerabilities in tumor cells. The pharmaceutical industry, despite the progress, has a failure rate of 95% of the new products and half of phase III trials, the last step before the approval, which is not enough."If I have 100 different medications that can be used in combination, then 100 times 100 is 10,000. 10,000 No test can do," says Sharp.

Prevention, the great door of change

"They have unraveled many ways in which a tumor grows and gives metastasesand that knowledge rather than proprietary or secret communicates and manages the natural history, this is like a puzzle. Once we know what's going on can rationally treat and prevent it ",  explains Dr. Gustavo Jankilevich oncologist. There are other issues around prevention and early detection. In addition to patients who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer, what about the other women in the family? Similarly, there are 94 million former smokers in the U.S., which means they have a high risk of cancer. Subjecting each annual TAC to reach the early stages of lung cancer and reduce mortality from the disease perhaps 20%. Given that there are 175,000 new lung cancers diagnosed each year, this is a lot of lives. They are also developing a simple blood test to identify a protein marker that could, when used in conjunction with diagnostic imaging models and risk, detect lung cancer earlier than is normally found. "You need big budgets that are investigated million  targets therapies  for a run. Such works makes a difference. important thing for people is to understand that while the answers are complex, there are teams that are working hard to reach the cure and costs will be reduced targets so that everyone can access treatment, "says Dr. Maria Ines Bianconi. "I was interested to read the note of  Time  which reveals that 'no team' and that each of the players makes a contribution to the knowledge of all. However, if not funded, if the state is absent, if companies do not collaborate and humanitarian concern there, so ... not, "said  Dr. Gustavo JankilevichBut the shift to "computer science" is permanent. When first examined the SU2C team structure, one of the leading MD was skeptical. "My feeling was that it was the ingenuity of a group of Hollywood executives, " he says. "Today, I take it." Now the world needs a "happy ending "  like in the movies sweetened. Is coming. 


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