Local News

Researchers Optimistic About New Breed Of Cancer Drugs

Posted July 10, 2003

— A diagnosis of cancer can be devastating. Now, some people are looking at cancer in a new light. New developments are making researchers and patients more hopeful about fighting the disease.

The battle against cancer is more promising than ever. Right now, 395 new cancer drugs are in clinical trials.

"It's a very exciting time," said Dr. Beverly Mitchell, associate director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer.

Of those medications, most are for lung, breast, colon, prostate and skin cancer.

The new drugs also tackle cancer at a new level by specifically targeting cells and stopping cancer its tracks.

These days, scientists at UNC have their pick of research studies.

"The real challenge is to try and find those things that are most promising and direct your research to those areas," Mitchell said.

While not all of these drugs will get approved, Mitchell believes a good number of them will.

"In terms of revolutionizing cancer treatment, we're going to be lucky if we get a couple out of that," she said.

Considering cancer kills 1,500 Americans a day, researchers said even a handful of revolutionary treatments will make a huge difference.

"I think there's huge promise," Mitchell said.

Duke, UNC and other area research groups will take part in some of these clinical trials. Several of these new drugs are from GlaxoSmithKline.


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