Fighting Cancer

Will new therapies and more money lead to cures?


President Obama has joined a long line of political leaders and patients' advocates calling for a cure for cancer, the nation's second-leading cause of death. But scientists caution that cancer is not just one disease amenable to a single cure but rather more than 100 complex and related diseases, many of which have defied decades of experimental treatments. Congress recently increased federal cancer research funding by $264 million for this year, money scientists say is needed to build on promising treatments that boost the body's immune system or that target molecules on cancer cells. But many new cancer medicines cost more than $100,000 annually, sparking outrage in Congress and among doctors. Drug makers say their charges are necessary to pay for medical research. Meanwhile, some ...

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