The Elusive Nature Of Cancer

Doctors discuss cancer and the reasons why it has been so difficult to treat.
2:39 | 03/07/12

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Transcript for The Elusive Nature Of Cancer
-- cancer tumors are very different. Not only different between different peoples tumors that even within any one single tumor cells are very different. And even more complicated -- differences with that they are in fact moving targets so the cells start off different. And they continue to change as that tumor growth -- they're exposed to different drugs or therapies. That's why we don't believe there's going to be one single magic bullet that is going to cure this cancer. Going to start seeing more and more. Combinations of these -- targeted therapies. Given together to tried to. Controlled. -- disease. Tumor is particularly. Adept adept at changing its genetics to fit its new environment. And as a result. That cancers are. -- -- to respond very quickly. And in deleterious ways. To -- any intervention or any treatment tourney barrier as one of the things that makes treating cancer so challenging. We now have the opportunity to drill down for that person's cancer. And really understand what -- what are the weak points what are the targets driving that person's cancer. There may not be one like we hoped we would find years ago there may be five or six different different targets that working together. All are necessary to two attack. In a coordinated fashion to -- an individual's cancer so. I think the more we learn about the complexity of cancer. I don't get discouraged I get more optimistic that the more we learn the better able we will be two to devise. Combinations strategies of different types of treatments together. That will be more effective than than we've we've been historically. I think that that. Just as. Infectious diseases. Are. Continually trying to elude our treatments. I I do think that tumors are capable. Of of doing the same. However just as we are able to catch up to. -- certain bacteria and viruses. We should be able to catch up to these these cancers it -- we may not be able to use one treatment to eradicate and give consumer. But we may be able to figure out ways to stay ahead -- it just as we do with infectious disease.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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