Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Interesting feature on how a prominent breast cancer advocacy group believes scientific research is currently too broad and unfocused, and they would like to direct research to specific aims.

Quotes from the article on their motivation:

"There's no question, when we started the National Breast Cancer Coalition we thought naïvely: If we just got enough money to the scientific community, they would get the answers we need," says Fran Visco, president of the NBCC. "And then we came to learn that it is much more complicated than that."


"We decided we could no longer afford to have the scientists set the agenda," Visco says, "and that we were going to decide what questions need to be answered, and we were going to bring together the necessary scientific expertise, collaborating with advocates, to answer those questions."


As a result, they've started funding research to do two main things: develop a breast cancer vaccine and prevent metastases.

The thing that confuses me is that I don't see how what they're doing is any different from the current state of research. There's already a lot of collaboration and discussion - any scientist worth their weight is on top of the cutting edge research in their field. Plus, cancer vaccines and metastasis research/treatment have already been huge topics of interest.

I don't think there's going to be one "cure" for cancer since it's such a heterogenous disease. Plus, part of the reason the progress has been so slow is cause we still have to broaden our basic understanding of cancer, and also immunity in the case of cancer vaccines. As much as I admire this group's goals and efforts, I doubt the only thing keeping us from curing cancer has been that we're not focused enough.

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