In a Post oped, a cancer doc admits to impotence: My patients seek state-of-the-art therapy. … Almost all of them have insurance, … their access to care is virtually limitless. We employ the latest [everything] … Yet, despite the many recent advances in detection and treatment, of the 50 patients, 40 of them are likely to lose the fight. … When it comes to cancer care, we’re not getting what we pay for. … Few cancer clinical trials are designed to “cure” patients. They are commonly aimed at … an extension of average survival from 5 months to 6 months. ..
SRT501 , a GSK resveratrol based drug that will likely never get marketed because it may be too close to regular resveratrol, is being tested on 15 colon/liver cancer patients. 5g a day.
The resuts are due this month.
One promising sign is last month's study that showed regular resvertarol stopped the spread of cancer (liver?) in 70% of mice taking it as opposed to jusr 4% in the control group.
Multiple Myeloma results for SRT501 will be in late next year. Alzheimes and Prakisons also on dock for trials.
It looks like GSK is banking on the much more powerful SRT1701 or SRT2401 drugs they hope to market in 2012-2014.
It's weird, but it actually has some truth behind it. An analysis of health care costs (discussed in Overtreated) finds that the more religious, "red" areas in the middle of the country have a much higher expenditure on this type of questionably useful end-of-life prolonging care as compared to the coastal "blue" areas, which are significantly less religious.
Of course, saying that it is specifically religion that causes this difference doesn't follow. But it would not surprise me if the same type of mentality supports both high religiosity and high faith in ineffectual medical intervention.
I don't know a lot about medicine, but hasn't the same thing basically happened with AIDS? i.e. treatments that extended life a little bit, and then more, and then more, until treatments got effective enough to extend one's life for years and years?
If so, then from a selfish point of view, I'm kinda glad that people are spending money to extend their lives a few months. Maybe by the time I or my loved ones get cancer (and realistically there's a pretty good chance it will happen), a few months will have turned into 15 or 20 years with most of the misery at the very end.
I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma on my 38th birthday in 1996. I entered a clinical trial and became the first person in the world with intermediate grade NHL to receive Rituxan as well as the regular chemotherapy. I'm still here, and Rituxan is now the world's #1 selling cancer drug.
Good point. People who aren't religious are totally unafraid of dying. Everyone's atheist in a foxhole, right? Nothing terrifies me more than the thought of going to heaven.
This has to be the most dimwitted rationalization of anti-religious bigotry that I've ever seen.
Good point. That might wind up being true, and it is a factor in the right direction. On the other hand, if Professor Hanson is right about how fiercely ems will wind up competing and replicating, they/we may impoverish themselves to the point where the electronic equivalent of death by famine is a frequent and lifespan-limiting event.
On average, revived ems have longer to live than surviving cancer patients.
'scuse the double posting on the same topic - I hadn't located thequote that I needed earlier.From Break Cryonics Down
Your chance of being usefully revived in 2090 as an em is roughly the product of these ten conditional probability terms. Ten 90% terms gives a total chance of ~1/3. Ten 80% terms gives a total chance of ~10%, except step 4 might be a 50% chance, for a total chance of ~6%, which seems about right to me. Contrasting cancer treatment and cryonics, we have a20% successful treatment and a 6% effective (estimated) treatment,both with costs on the order of $100,000 or so per patient.
Professor Hanson: You seem to be advocating moving resourcesout of cancer treatment and into cryonics, yet this seems at oddswith your own estimates of their benefits. Can you explain this?I'm comparing these purely in terms of returns on resourcesexpended, setting aside any questions of incentives, who payswhat, etc.
He admits his profession wastes vast resources selling false hope, but we are supposed to let that slide because he is proud to be “hopeful”?How, on a per-patient basis, is this a worse bet than cryonics?At least the anti-cancer drugs have been through an FDA screeningfor efficacy. Cryonics's efficacy currently rests wholly on theoreticalanalysis. This isn't an intrinsically bad position to be in - but it is morenearly equivalent to drug leads than to drugswhich have passed clinical trials. The only reason one can't make anexactly analogous complaint about cryonics wasting vast resourcesselling false hope is that so few of us are signed up for it, so the aggregate numbers are smaller.
Some times I think that we would better off not knowing that we have cancer or some other diseases.
Yet, despite the many recent advances in detection and treatment, of the 50 patients, 40 of them are likely to lose the fight. …
That sounds worth the try at first blush but we need to know how many would have won the fight without the care.
I strongly expect that, just like everything else that should be done to fix healthcare, this is illegal.
Sorry, that number is way off. More like 20% of Medicare in last year of life.
This assumes that the current incentives are conducive to finding a cure, which they aren't really. A magic pill that could cure cancer would cost the industry a lot of money, particularly since government would likely intervene to prevent such a drug from being priced too high for most to afford.
More practically, though, current reasearch is dedicated to life-extension, which may or may not be conducive to actually curing cancer. If life extension weren't covered as generously, it seems likely that research would change its focus towards either elimination or prevention, as both would be more marketable. Or it would just drop the subject entirely, which is admittedly a risk.
People optimize to their local conditions, not the global optimum. When a nameless face pays for a named face's care, you take it. This is obvious, yes?
Are you saying most prostate cancer treatments aren’t worth doing?
No, the statistics say that. E. Yudkowsky once aimed a comment at me when I argued medical experience against statistics: “I don’t think you understand what statistics mean. They are not a sort of weak extra argument that you weigh in addition to your much more reliable personal experience; statistics are a stronger, more reliable way of looking at the world that summarizes far more evidence than your personal experience, even though it just looks like a little number on paper while all that other experience weighs so heavy in your mind.”
I took note.