Reassessing the ’War on Cancer’
Slow Progress After 40 Years of Effort
Since Aug. 5, 1937, when Congress established the National Cancer Institute, the federal government has made the conquest of cancer an overriding national health goal. From its inception, the cancer program's ambitious objective was to eliminate all forms of the dreaded disease. But to many people the progress of research has seemed agonizingly slow; popular enthusiasm for the unproven anti-cancer drug Laetrile is one indication of the widespread disenchantment with the effectiveness of traditional medical knowledge.
In recent years, under mounting public pressure to match the dramatic achievements in other areas of science and medicine, legislators have poured billions of dollars into the effort to defeat cancer. Yet despite the great investment of federal money ...