Drug treatment of cancer: No progress in three decades. The March 22, 2004 issue of
     Fortune (PDF) has an excellent article which shows that there has been no real progress in the treatment of the
     most common forms of cancer.  Entitled "War on Cancer: Why the New Drugs Disappoint,"  the article cites
     NCI data showing that US cancer mortality rates have increased and age-adjusted cancer mortality rates in
     response to treatment have not improved in several decades, despite the introduction of many new drugs.
     The article indicts the "cancer investigator" culture, which prizes the exhaustive examination of trivial
     hypotheses, while eschewing support of "cancer discoverer" type research, attempting to create entirely new
     paradigms of cancer treatment. In the words of the author, a large and broad group of "experts offered
     testimony that, when taken together, describes a dysfunctional 'cancer culture' -- a groupthink that pushes
     tens of thousands of physicians and scientists toward the goal of finding the tiniest improvements in
     treatment rather than genuine breakthroughs; that ... rewards academic achievement and publication over all
     else."  The author goes on to note that "investigators rely on models that are consistently lousy at predicting
     success -- to the point where hundreds of cancer drugs are thrust into the pipeline, and many are approved by
     the FDA, even though their proven 'activity' has little to do with curing cancer."  The article specifically
     condemns the acceptance of models for cancer treatment (e.g. mouse models, established cell line models,
     molecular mechanisms) which have been of limited relevance to drug activity in real human cancer.

     The above are the precise points which I have been making in publications which date back more than 20
     years.  The great failing of academic clinical oncology in the area of cell culture drug resistance testing with
     cell death endpoints is not that clinical oncology has failed to embrace the technology, but that academic
     clinical oncology has refused even to consider and test the ability of the technology to improve cancer
     treatment in clinical trials, while carrying out hundreds of clinical trials of one-size-fits-all therapy in tens of
     thousands of patients which tested trivial hypotheses and produced no progress.