Reviewing the last 10 years of cancer research much as they might the production of a play complete with cast members, opening acts and an ever-twisting plot, two of the most cited names in science say that one of the most promising roles that newly discovered cancer genes may perform is in early detection, which likely will be as important as new treatments.
In an editorial review that is the centerpiece of Nature Medicine’s 10th anniversary August issue, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists Bert Vogelstein, M.D., and Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D., used a lengthy Broadway metaphor to suggest that the conquest of cancer is a drama that has lots more acts to come, some of them destined to refocus large parts of the national research effort.
"The best chance of managing these diseases in the next few decades relies on taking advantage of the genes we now know lie at the heart of the process," says Vogelstein, who is the world’s most influential scientist according to citation rankings by the Institute of Scientific Information. "Cancer already is curable when it’s caught early. New methods of detecting cancers, although less dramatic and not as popular, offer very promising approaches for limiting cancer deaths in the future."
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