The New York Times just published a series of three articles about the trial of a new drug that researchers hoped would help cure melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer; if it is not recognized and treated in its earliest stages it is most likely fatal. In a nutshell the drug “PLX4032 held off the cancer by blocking a particular protein in its cells that was spurring them to multiply.”
The articles are fascinating, enlightening, and ultimately disheartening since the drug only worked briefly. The drug trial process is explained in the articles, and it is quite clear that the corporate and financial considerations of the pharmaceutical companies take precedence over human lives for the companies. The main doctor featured in the articles is portrayed much like a clichéd Hollywood hero – he neglects his family life for the sake of his research and patients. The idea behind the drug itself is fascinating – block the mutation and stop the cancer. But in the end, the drug was only effective for a short time. The doctors are continuing with their research and hope to find an effective combination of drugs in the future that will stop and cure melanoma. The articles are definitely worth reading.
Link to the articles: