Talk:War on Cancer

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Redirecting from National Cancer Act of 1971[edit]

Originally, the War on Cancer page was separate from the National Cancer Act of 1971 page (both very stubby), and I merged them by redirecting WoC to the NCAof71 page, as noted on the NCAo71's talk page claiming that "War on Cancer" was just a "colloquial moniker" for the NCAof71. I've since changed my mind on this because really, the war on cancer is the primary notion here and the NCAof71 was just the first official declaration of this "war" which continues to this day. "War on Cancer" is also a stronger meme and much more commonly referenced, while the NCAof71 is rather obscure and seems best to be just a section on the WoC page. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 10:37, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

TCGA Merge?[edit]

Might it also make sense to fold the TCGA and Cancer Genome Project pages into this war on cancer page? These genome-oriented cancer research projects can be viewed as further assaults on cancer employing modern approaches, so describing them in the WoC page could set them in a historical context. These pages are also quite stubby and may not warrant being full articles yet. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 09:39, 28 October 2008 (UTC) and 8 November 2008


It seems that the article would be extended once the project is underway more (it mentions large expansions for 2009 on its website). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.233.39 (talk) 01:28, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Not convinced... TCGA pretty big, seminal project on its own. might get swamped in with war on cancer.... that said, it is clearly a big 2009 effort to knock this out of the ballpark. hope with more detail it will standalone. will work on it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Writesciright (talkcontribs) 18:55, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. It's a major effort deserving of it's own article. It can certainly be framed within the WoC page and pointed at with a main article link. I'll remove the merge recommendation. What about the Sanger Institute's Cancer Genome Project? Probably would be good to have a section on the TCGA page explaining the relationship between these efforts (on which I'm not entirely clear, they seem independent). SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 01:36, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Cancer Genome Critiques[edit]

Need to add criticisms of the cancer genome project (for example). This would best on on the TCGA page, or war on cancer page if it subsumes TCGA. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 09:39, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Chris Sander talk[edit]

Here's a good summary of some TCGA work being done by Chris Sander. Not yet sure if/how to incorporate this into the page. Also, Chris Sander could use a Wikipedia page (he's at least as important as all the football players). Perhaps the way to go here is to create a page for him and include it in a 'See also' section. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 15:42, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

War progress by type of cancer[edit]

It would be great to include a table that tracks the progress in the WoC by type of cancer (breast, lung, brain, pancreas etc.). It could also include any epidemiological disparities per cancer type (e.g., Caucasian vs African-American, adult vs. child, etc.). This info already exists in other sources (such as the SEER study), but having it directly in the article would permit merging data from different sources and keeping it up-to-date as the war progresses. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 07:06, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Such a table could note the organizations and programs that have targeted specific cancers (e.g., NCI's effort on lung cancer). SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 07:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Here's a minimal start of such a table, based on a few notes in a recent NYTimes article.[1] The article should cite the original data rather than this news article and include columns for earlier time points for comparative purposes (1950, 1975) as well as a more comprehensive coverage of cancer types and additional demographic breakdown (sex, age, ethnic group). SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 09:09, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Primary cancer type 5-year survival rate, 2005
Breast, metastatic 20%
Colorectal, metastatic 10%
Lung, metastatic <10%
Prostate, metastatic 30%
  1. ^ Kolata, Gina (April 23, 2009). "Advances Elusive in the Drive to Cure Cancer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 

Science magazine had a special issue on the war on cancer, and they had tables doing exactly what you say. They gave incidence, deaths, and mortality trends for 7 major cancers. Science 331:1541 (25 March 2011) --Nbauman (talk) 13:42, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Cause of slow progress[edit]

Consider adding a section in the article covering some often cited reasons for slow progress in the war on cancer:

  • Disease heterogeneity (different tissues of origin, causative factors, etc.)
  • Inherent biological complexity
  • Roadblocks to translational medicine
  • Roadblocks to early diagnosis (with cancer, the main trouble is late detection)
  • Drug approval issues, noted here

There is a broad spectrum of factors here, and it might be worthwhile to characterize these. The Newsweek article from Oct 2008 by Sharon Begley listed in the citations would be a good place to start. SteveChervitzTrutane (talkcontribs) 08:59, 18 November 2008 (UTC), updated 2009-10-01

I've added a sub-section about this in the article (Progress > Challenges). Not necessarily complete, and is just a bulleted list that could use some elaboration. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 06:14, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Obama's War on Cancer declaration[edit]

Here are a few supporting sources I used to compile info about Obama's declaration of war on cancer in early June 2009:

  • July 2009 Harper's Editor Letter
    • It's not clear from the Harper's ovarian cancer web article containing Obama's message which issue this article actually appears in. The editor letter establishes that it is in the July 2009 issue.
  • People Magazine article
    • Establishes the 3 Jun 2009 as the release date of this message (when the July issue hit the newstand).

It's possible that this message in Harper's Bazaar was not the earliest WoC declaration from Obama as president. Update article if you find anything earlier. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 23:55, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Psychological or cultural aspects of the War on cancer[edit]

Why is it that this is the only disease on which there is a declared "war"? There may be features of the disease and/or our reaction to it that might deserve mention in the WoC article. Perhaps there certain aspects of cancer that predispose us to personify it as an enemy force unlike other diseases. In some respects, it appears to be more indiscriminate than other diseases, "attacking" apparently healthy people without "cause," claiming many loved ones as innocent victims and thereby engendering a war-like rage towards the disease. At this stage, this is my own thinking, so it's not ready for the article. Keep an eye out for other writings along these lines. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 06:38, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

There are numerous examples of individuals personalizing and publishing their own battles that might fit in with this psychological angle: (list started: SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 08:05, 12 November 2009 (UTC))

John Schwartzenburg of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, in a Fall 2009 editorial note, speculated that a war-like attitude in a quest for curing disease may have gotten its start in Paul de Kruif's The Microbe Hunters book. Along these lines, it's worth noting that while a tumor is non-microbial, some cancers have a proven microbial origin (eg. cervical cancer, stomach cancer). Though in the war on cancer perspective, the cancerous growth itself is viewed as an invasive, foreign entity to be studied and eliminated, regardless of its origin. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 07:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Framing the quest for a cancer cure as a "war" may, to some extent, be a reflection of American culture. Lawrence Lessig noted that "we Americans seem to have a thing for long and hopeless wars, and so it might run in our blood in some sense." (ref, see 9:30). Also worth noting here that the personal cancer war examples above are all from US citizens. Anyone have examples of such stories from non-Americans?SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 07:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

An anti-war sentiment appears in a British tabloid after Robin Gibb's death from colon cancer. This is coming from a breast cancer survivor who objects to such 'pugilistic terminology': Jenni Murray: Robin Gibb didn't lose any 'battle'. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 06:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Here's an article by a psychologist and former pharmaceutical researcher who weighs in on the war on cancer. He also notes an article on the WoC by Reynold Spector, MD appearing in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 08:19, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

You might like to read Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor, which seems to be the original source for the complaints about this particular use language. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Cost of cancer treatments[edit]

Cancer can be a very expensive disease to treat, as this NYTimes article makes clear. Not quite sure if/how this deserves to be noted in the WoC article but it raises some issues that might be worth noting:

  • How do we envision a successful culmination to the WoC?
  • If a cure is found but costs $1 million per patient so that very few people could afford it, would we consider that a success?

Seems like there is an element of accessibility and affordability in what would be deemed a successful cure of cancer. Seems like much of the pricing is driven by supply and demand and efficacy of the drug. So one might expect to see lower prices and better insurance coverage for successful drugs/therapies that can be used across larger numbers of patients. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 04:39, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

An Omics Perspective on Cancer[edit]

Here's an interesting-sounding book: An Omics Perspective on Cancer (Cho, WCS. 2010, ISBN: 978-90-481-2674-3). Love the title, but I'm not so impressed with the synopsis provided on the Springer site. It might be worth noting in the WoC article, though I'd really like to see a copy of the book first. If anyone has this book, I'd appreciate any thoughts/feedback about it. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 18:22, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Progress section[edit]

I have looked over the progress section of this article, and while it covers the progress we have had treating and curing some cancers (e.g.,childhood leukemia), it lacks information on some of the advances in cancer treatment that have not transalated in cures for the majority of patients, but have significantly improved prognosis nonetheless. The best example of this is metastatic renal cell carcinoma, which, when President Nixon signed the National cancer act, had no effective treatment. Today, we have Interleukin-2, Bevacizumab, sunitinib, temsirolimus, and pazopanib, which represents major progress. Immunize (talk) 12:19, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the pointer 'bro. The progress section is really the heart of this article and is the area in most need of work. I sketched an idea for it above -- though I've lacked time of late to execute on it. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 07:46, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

How Do We Change The War On Cancer?[edit]

Clinton Leaf (who is working on a book about the WoC) gave a presentation at TEDMED 2010 with the title of this section. One of his slides claims that over the past 40 years cancer deaths are up about 16%, all other causes of death (except diabetes) are down. A stratification by cancer subtype would be appropriate and would show how variable the progress has been for this complex disease, with great progress on reducing morbidity for some cancers but little change for others. Don't know if he gave such a slide (didn't attend TEDMED myself). SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 20:03, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Another noteworthy TEDMED 2010 talk: Anna Barker, "Can Government Cure Cancer"

Possibly Relevant External Links[edit]

The following external links (which were removed from the article as spam) may have relevance to the WoC since they provide educational information aimed at improving treatment and prevention -- a key front of the WoC:

It may be appropriate to include some or all of these as in-line citations rather than external links.SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 08:14, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Lance Armstrong Foundation[edit]

Why does the Lance Armstrong Foundation even belong in an article like this? We don't even have a section on the American Cancer Society. Why not have Michael Milken's CapCURE, if we're including cancer charities founded by indicted multi-millionaires to improve their public image?

It would also seem to violate the Wikipedia guidelines against promoting charities. --Nbauman (talk) 13:48, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on War on Cancer. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 10:07, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

An article[edit]

In the second paragraph, there is the following part, "and to new legislation aimed at". Shouldn't there be an article?--Adûnâi (talk) 20:45, 24 July 2016 (UTC)