If decades of research and tens of billions of dollars in investment have taught us one thing about cancer, it’s the science of detecting and cheating the disease. Drugs that ace this are among the highest grossers for their manufacturers.
“If you start with 1 billion cells, there are 1 billion routes to resist [the treatment], if you start with 100 cells, there are 100 routes to resist [the treatment]. So detecting early and cheating early has been successful,” says Siddhartha Mukherjee, assistant professor at Columbia University in the United States. As an oncologist and translational researcher, Mukherjee has seen that success, especially with the blockbuster breast cancer drug trastuzumab.