The War Against Cancer Drugs

Cancer researchers all agree the future of cancer therapies lies in combination drugs. Drug cocktails — a drug regimen made up of several different drugs — have revolutionized the treatment of AIDs, for example. One reason why drugs might be used in combination is to avoid, say, for instance, cancer from developing a resistance to an individual therapy.  

The problem is that the FDA wants each individual drug approved before it will consider therapies used in combination. Once approved, drug makers are loath to risk exposing their drug to a new (combo) trial where a therapy might fail and call into question the efficacy of the individual drugs making up the combo therapy.

The FDA appears to be relenting and drafting new guidelines. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rusty W. says:

    Devon, when are you going to wake up and realize that the FDA is not on our side?

  2. Vicki says:

    I agree with Rusty.

  3. Ken says:

    As Sam Peltzman pointed out years ago, the FDA’s incentives are screwed up. They get creamed if they mistakenly let a drug onto the market that has unexpected side effects and kills a few people.

    But they get almost no flack for the thousands of people they kill by keeping life saving drugs off the market.

  4. Bruce says:

    Pelztman wrote that article more than 40 years ago and nothing has changed in the interim.