Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Turn Out the Lights and Go Home, the Cleveland Clinic Has Cured Cancer, Convinced LeBron to Stay

ASCO approaches, and the season of cancer vaccine hype is upon us.

Exhibit A: Cleveland Clinic Researchers Develop Prototype Vaccine To Prevent Breast Cancer. That's the headline for this press release from the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, announcing a Nature Medicine letter, and featuring the quote below.

"We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines prevent polio and measles in children," said Vincent Tuohy, Ph.D., the study's principal investigator and an immunologist in Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute Department of Immunology. "If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer."
PR folks: you know you're hypey when even the Daily Mail takes a more measured tone in its headline. As blogger/consultant/sane person Sally Church points out, the drug development road and the odds are very long indeed. "Please, show us some solid DATA first before hyping a theory all over the internets, however well intentioned," she concludes.

Of course we wish Tuohy and company well and hope the optimism is well-founded. We hope we're not being too cynical. And for Cleveland's sake, we do hope LeBron stays put.
image from flickr user mrinray used under a creative commons license


Anonymous said...

Why does it take so much time to let people to take this medication. We are dying from this disease.

Rich said...

Clearly they have not seen the success rates of pre-clin to market for oncology compounds!