Cancer has affected the world tremendously yet no exact cure has been developed. To come up with a possible solution, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden vows to speed up U.S. approval of promising cancer drug combinations.
On Tuesday, Biden said at the World Economic Forum meeting of international cancer experts in Davos, Switzerland that current scientific and technological efforts are at an "inflection point." With this, he would move to hasten government approval of cancer cocktail drugs as his contribution to America's new drive to cure cancer "once and for all."
Biden said he already had a meeting with three big pharmaceutical firms and the head of the U.S. FDA in his home. All parties agreed to work more to develop breakthrough cancer drug combinations.
"The head of the FDA made a commitment that everybody would move much more rapidly in approving combinations," said Biden.
Another good thing is that all three companies expressed their willingness to engage in a "different way of doing business" to guarantee the simultaneous testing of the drugs from different firms as soon as possible, he added.
Cancer specialists are specifically looking forward to this development. They are excited by the promise of new cancer medicines, which studies have proven to work well if combined with other drugs.
For U.S. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, the new immunotherapy drug is "breathtaking."
As experts learn more about the genetic properties that induce cancer cell growth, combination cancer drug therapy is placed more firmly at the center of battling tumors.
Such great promise entails a slow process thus hindering patients from getting the treatment at once. The therapy also comes with an expensive price. As per estimates, immunotherapy drugs like these can cost more than $100,000 annually per patient.
In President Barack Obama's latest and last State of the Union address, he envisioned America to be the country that cures cancer once and for all. However, scientific critics expressed their doubts about this claim, questioning the extremely simplified approach to the fatal disease.
Biden, who lost his son to brain cancer in 2015, was appointed by Obama to lead this ambitious initiative. He acknowledged that it is not going to be easy, even saying that he is not naive to think that a cure for every type of cancer would be available in the near term.
Photo: Marc Nozell | Flickr