There are reasons that “cancer” is such a scary word. By its nature, cancer is varied, complex, and often deadly. The suffering and cost are enormous. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the USA with over 585,000 dying within the most recent year.* The National Institutes of Health estimated that for 2009, the overall cost of cancer was about $216.6 billion.**
Epithelial cancers like breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and ovarian are amongst the worst of the worst, and they make up approximately 90% of all cancers. While treatments have been improving over the years and extending life expectancies, there is still a long way to go. That’s why, through The William K. Warren Medical Research Center, The William K. Warren Foundation is engaged in the fight against cancer. Research must continue if cancer is to become less scary.
*American Cancer Society, 2014
**National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2013
Expenditures for cancer research are high. From 2005 through 2013, the U.S. Federal government’s cancer research spending through the National Cancer Institute averaged $4.9 billion per year.* Globally, the total was approximately $17 billion in 2005.** With thousands of molecular candidates available for cancer drug development and the cost to bring a novel drug to market of $1.8 billion***, it is bewildering for decision-makers to determine which candidates are most deserving of support.
*National Cancer Institute, 2014
**Molecular Oncology, 2008
***Nature Reviews, 2010
Through The William K. Warren Medical Research Center, the Foundation’s cancer research efforts have shown promise. In collaboration with a major university since 1985, the supported scientific investigators have generated intellectual property around two epithelial cancer inhibitors. Pre-clinical animal studies have shown that epithelial cancer tumors are significantly deterred and, frequently, completely eliminated by one or both of these inhibitors.
It remains to be seen if the challenges presented by novel drug development economics can be overcome by the pre-clinical results from these inhibitors. But, these research results, along with the subsequently published scientific papers represent new knowledge and progress in the fight against cancer.