More cancer meds hitting the market

Thanks to smart research and a better understanding of cancer, more anti-cancer meds are hitting the market than ever before, according to a study by Cancer Research UK. In a study of 974 cancer drugs, the organization found that, if current trends continue, about 18 percent of those would make it through clinical development to become standard treatments; that's up from previous estimates of 5 percent, according to Pharmacy Europe.

Not only are more drugs making it to market, but these modern meds have fewer side effects than the traditional cancer drugs. Research showed that, between 1995 and 2007, a group of molecularly targeted drugs called kinase inhibitors were almost three times more likely to make it to market than other any of type of anti-cancer med. Molecularly targeted drugs--which includes Genentech's breast cancer treatment Herceptin--are often less toxic and (with fewer side effects) much less taxing on patients than alternative chemotherapy treatments.

"This analysis clearly demonstrates the benefits of developing molecularly targeted treatments for cancer. It highlights the fact that understanding more about the basic biology of cancer is making a real difference to the success rate of new anticancer drug development. It's clear that further significant achievements in cancer drug development will be dependent on continued research into new and relevant molecular targets,"  Dr. Ian Walker of Cancer Research UK tells Pharmacy Europe.

- check out the Pharmacy Europe article for more

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