CANCER could be “cured” within a decade, top UK scientists claim.
They say new drugs will keep tumours in check and stop them being fatal.
Prof Paul Workman, of London’s Institute of Cancer Research, said its world-leading work would “make cancer a manageable disease”.
The new drugs mean cancer could be managed as a long-term illness like HIV or asthma.
Patients would take a combination of pills to stop the disease killing them, scientists say.
Cancer is so lethal because it adapts and stops responding to drugs — so tumours grow, spread and become incurable.
‘EFFECTIVELY A CURE’
But the team at the ICR has identified what causes some of these changes and is confident medication can stop it.
Prof Workman said the result would be “effectively a cure”.
Patients would still get a mix of radiotherapy, chemo and surgery.
But they would then take medication to stop remaining cancer cells growing or spreading too much.
The goal is to keep the disease under control for so long that people eventually die of something else.
Prof Workman expects the new drugs to be tested and offered on the NHS within a decade.
He added: “We firmly believe . . . we can find ways to make cancer a manageable disease in the long term and one that is more often curable.”
But he admitted it will require a “culture change” so patients no longer worry if cancer cells remain.
Dr Olivia Rossanese, also from the ICR, said: “We believe this will be the first treatment in the world that rather than dealing with the consequences of cancer’s evolution and resistance, aims to directly confront the disease’s ability to adapt and evolve in the first place.”
The team at ICR said the new drugs will enter clinical trials within a few years and should be offered on the NHS within a decade. Read more