publication date: Jan. 23, 2015

LLS President Responds To “Bad Luck” Cancer Study


A new study indicates that the risk of developing cancer in some types of tissue is based on the frequency of stem cell divisions, and therefore beyond individuals’ control to minimize their own risks. As the study stated, a majority of these cancers develop due to random mutations of noncancerous stem cells; in other words, it’s just “bad luck.”

This pessimistic conclusion may cause cynicism or a feeling of hopelessness. In a recent, controversial move, a top medical voice in the U.K. declared we should “stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer.” This statement was met with great public outcry. And, rightly so, because at this very moment there is cause for great hope in the field of cancer treatment.

I saw evidence at last month’s meeting of the American Society of Hematology, where a number of breakthroughs were presented for the treatment of blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. I have never come away from a medical meeting as excited as I was after this meeting, to see the full potential of those breakthroughs and the therapies and discoveries that are in the pipeline, which, in my lifetime, have never been so plentiful. In my estimation, we will see a constant stream of new therapies to treat blood cancers because of the research investment being made by world-class researchers, hospitals, biopharmaceutical companies, and patient advocacy organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

What is the role of LLS and similar organizations in the search to find new cancer treatments? They have several parts to play in the quest for treating … Continue reading 41-03 Letter to the Editor: LLS President Responds To “Bad Luck” Cancer Study

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