Volume 88 Issue 26 | pp. 24-28
Issue Date: June 28, 2010

Platinum Drugs Take Their Toll

Small firms struggle to make their compounds the new standard in cancer therapy
Department: Business
Keywords: pharmaceuticals, cancer, platinum compounds

Cisplatin’s approval in 1978 dramatically altered the prognosis for cancer patients. The cure rate for testicular cancer, for example, rose from about 10% to near 90%. Platinum compounds, including the follow-on drugs carboplatin and oxaliplatin, are now a cornerstone of solid-tumor chemotherapy. Alone or in combination with other agents, they are used to treat 40–80% of cancer patients.

Although platinum compounds were a leap forward, they are not perfect. The drugs are used to combat . . .

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