Damon Runyon News

January 24, 2017

By Giada Bianchi, MD, Damon Runyon-Celgene Physician-Scientist

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently asked some of our current award recipients how cancer will be prevented, diagnosed, and/or treated differently in the future. What can a future cancer patient, say 10-20 years from now, expect to experience? Their responses were fascinating, and over the next few months we will share their visions for the future on this blog.

“It is an exciting time of research and discovery in oncology.  Cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy are pushed forward at an incredible pace. Somewhere between a dream and a serious task, in 10-20 years from now I see fewer people diagnosed with cancer and higher cure rates for those diagnosed.

As a clinician who has witnessed for too many times the advanced diagnosis of cancer otherwise completely preventable with basic primary screening, I envision a future where patients don’t feel the blame of having missed their colonoscopy, but rather the medical system takes responsibility for having fallen short on people. A future in which digital rectal exams and pap smears “travel” to patients rather than waiting for them; where more mammography and colonoscopy vans reach out to people in their neighborhoods regardless of social status or geographical location, providing cancer screening at no charge.

As a researcher, I envision that we will soon perform proteomic and metabolomic analyses on a few cancer cells with accuracy and reliability. The readout of these analyses will enable us to identify the Achilles’ heel of each individual cancer and to profile the most effective treatment regimen. I envision a fingerprinting of the complex protein organization of tumors so accurate to hold the key for a cure for most cancer patients. In a team effort among chemists, biologists and oncologists, data gathered during this analysis will inform the synthesis of an elixir tablet containing all the right ingredients to prevent cancer from occurring at all.”