• Question: When the cure for cancer is discovered how long do you think it will be before everyone is cured?

    Asked by 582genb52 to Sophie on 18 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Sophie Robinson

      Sophie Robinson answered on 18 Mar 2015:

      Good question. Although I don’t think there will ever be just ‘one cure’. There are hundreds of different types of cancer and within these there are hundreds of different genetic types meaning that one treatment will never cure them all. What will happen is each individual patient will have their genes looked at and then a specific drug will be chosen to treat them based on their individual genetics. This is what we are moving towards now and this is called ‘personalised medicine’.

      It is a gradual process though. Despite us not being able to ‘cure’ all cancers yet, we have managed to increase survival rates by 20% in the past 20 years. That’s massive progress.

      Eventually, say in 20 or 30 years from now I think that medicine will have improved so much that most cancers will no longer be a death sentence but be long-term illnesses that can be controlled.

      I hope that answers your question!