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From Different Angles

While targeted drugs may help some cancer patients, they typically only buy patients a little time, writes Catherine Bresson, the director of operations of the Worldwide Innovative Networking Consortium, at the Independent. The WIN Consortium is a global association of cancer centers, pharmaceutical companies, and others that aims to speed the development of personalized cancer therapeutics.

Bresson adds that her fight against cancer is a personal one: her son died of the disease, even after receiving nine lines of treatment from chemotherapy to targeted drugs in "the exact order of 'cancer textbooks.'"

But she writes at the Independent that one targeted treatment might not be enough, as patients typically develop resistance. Instead, Bresson argues that a cocktail of some three targeted treatments might be the best approach to trying to knock cancers out, though she notes that the trio of treatments would likely vary from patient to patient. "Like in any war we need a strategy adjusted to the enemy who is shrewd, mutable, and agile," she writes.

Bresson adds that the consortium has been given the go-ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration to try this tri-therapy approach as a first-line treatment in non-small cell lung cancer patients with metastatic disease.