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The Journal of Clinical Onchology has published a paper on the highly successful results of stage 1 clinical trials of a new drug treating prostate cancer. This is the commonest non-skin cancer in American men. The new drug, abiraterone, could be effective for over 80% of men with aggressive and previously drug resistant disease. Trials have also started to see if it is effective against breast cancers.

One patient in the trial reports:

"Last year I was in severe pain because of my prostate cancer, which had worsened and spread to my bones. Chemotherapy and other treatments had failed and news that I had very few treatment options available to me was devastating for my family. Fitness and travelling were always my main interests and abiraterone has allowed me to have a year so far of near normality. The changes in my life have been dramatic, from managing thousands of people in a major bank, to facing a very uncertain future, then to renewed hope thanks to this drug trial."

Clinical trials continue and it is likely to be three years before abiraterone is widely available. If it does prove to be so effective, why should good Republicans refuse to be treated with it?

Well the answer is that abiraterone was invented and developed under a socialized system of medicine. As Republicans and other opponents of universal health care will tell you, under such systems no useful treatments are invented as it is only under a for profit insurance system that progress is made. All socialized systems do is feed off developments in the best health system in the world, that of the USA.

More specifically, abiraterone was discovered at The Institute of Cancer Research which is a college of the University of London although is started as part of the Royal Marsden Hospital which specializes in treating all forms of cancer and in research into them.

The Institute's press release from which the patient's comments are taken also quotes Cally Palmer, Chief Executive of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust:

"The results of this study show just how important abiraterone is set to become in the treatment of men with prostate cancer and highlights the national importance of funding pioneering cancer research."

Let me expand that, the hospital is now known as The Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust. That's right, part of the system "where treatments are rationed and you have to wait months to see a doctor."

Originally posted to Lib Dem FoP on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 04:47 AM PDT.

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