Cancer Treatments – Responses, Survival & Placebo: Defining an Effective Cancer Therapy

(PRWEB) There are over 2,000 cancer therapies in clinical trials. Some are better than others, but how is that determined? How are the results of these trials weighed and scored? How is one treatment deemed to be superior to another? In this edition of CancerWire we examine how oncologists judge their therapies so that patients can make more informed treatment decisions with their doctor. You will learn:

  • What is an active drug? A treatment or drug that is described as “active” means that in animal models, cell cultures or patients the treatment kills cancer cells, shrinks tumors, or decreases biochemical tumor markers such as CEA or PSA scores. But, temporarily shrinking a tumor may not be the same as extending survival. To read more go to
  • What is a response and how it relates to survival? Similar to the term “active,” a response means that patients had their cancers shrink or disappear. The overwhelming majority of clinical cancer trials use response as an endpoint, but response and survival are not equivalent. Typically, there are four measures of response. To read more go to
  • Who are evaluable patients? How the math is performed is critical to how results are measured. Some studies exclude from their results the patients that died before the treatment protocol was completed. To read more go to
  • What happens when placebo studies are performed? Most studies compare one treatment with another, not a treatment versus no treatment. Placebo controlled studies are infrequently performed because many clinicians consider it unethical to administer a cancer patient a “sugar pill.” This is a valid point, but occasionally a few placebo controlled studies are performed (usually not in the U.S.). Interestingly, a significant percentage of these studies find that the placebo is as effective as or more effective than the treatment. To read more go to


Of course, none of this information in CancerWire is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment and you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment or making any changes to an existing treatment. No information contained in Cancer Monthly or CancerWire including the information above, should be used to diagnose, treat cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical doctor.

Company Name: CANCER MONTHLY Website: