“High technology drugs for fighting cancer”: here is the heading of the article written by Agnese Codignola and appeared today 19th of July in the supplement “FARMACEUTICO” of the weekly Il Sole 24 Ore Sanità.
The article concerns itself with the progress of the pharmacologic research regarding the prevention and cure of cancer.
According to the latest outcomes it appears that the knowledge of the human genome allows to soon identify the defects of diseases and to treat them with ad hoc drugs.
These studies have given hope to researchers of cures against cancer since the latter is mostly caused by genes “going crazy” and not behaving as they are supposed to. Though, it is still a long way, since, concerning cancer, the genes involved are too many, therefore it is hard to predict their behaviour.
For this reason, researchers are focusing their attention on “simple” tumors, namely on the one caused by few mutation as chronic myeloid, a specific type of leukaemia.
Some of the drugs affecting the modified gene that causes the disease, have been used for breast and lung tumors yet. Life expectancy of these patients has been rising in the last ten years; nowadays, some tumors are treated as diseases to be lead to a state of chronicity.
Even though biological drugs have been increasing, a definite cure is still not available. Nowadays, cancer is considered as a combination of different diseases that can show the same genetic target, wheras previously it was talked of as a monolith to be dealt with depending on where it manifested and developped.
Unfortunately, pharmaceutical innovation has still many limitations since drugs:
- does not envisage definite cures
- are very expensive as they are made thanks to expensive biotechnologies
- are given only to patients who definitely need them
- require plenty of time for reimbursment due to the fact that the Servizi Sanitari Nazionali grant partial reimbursments only after the patient has been examined form a genetic standpoint.
To sum up, the goal is still far-off, however the path we walk on is straight and full of hope.