The 'War on Cancer' is 40 years old today, and the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog spoke with American Society of Clinical Oncology President Michael Link about those four decades and what remains to be done. "The most important thing to point out is the return on investment in lab research," Link tells the Health Blog, citing advances in understanding the molecular nature of cancer and drugs like Gleevec to target specific cancers. Link adds that cure rates for many pediatric cancers have risen, while death rates for all cancers have fallen.
For the future, Link envisions a focus on more difficult cancers like pancreatic cancer or metastatic colon cancer, as well as efforts toward early detection and prevention. "We know how to prevent some cancers and we have not done it," Link says, referring to tobacco use.