One achievement of science is that cancer is no longer necessarily synonymous with deadly disease, but life expectancy varies with each case and the type of cancer each individual has.
Advances in genomics, cell reprogramming, target drugs and immunotherapy have opened new paths towards the cure for cancer and raised the prospect that, in future, it could be treated as a controlled chronic disease. But is this an achievable goal? What direction is being taken by current research into new, more effective cancer therapies with fewer side effects for patients? What are the most relevant developments in new types of treatments that we now have in the pipeline in clinical trials against cancer? Do current treatments offer patients a better quality of life? What improvements will the new treatments bring? What therapeutic improvements are expected in the short term? How have patient survival and wellbeing improved in recent years? Socially, is it good to continue speaking of cancers located in certain organs? Or can we now start talking of cancers according to the genetic characteristics of the tumours?
María Blasco, Scientific Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid.
Josep Tabernero, Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona.
Patricia Fernández de Lis, journalist from EL PAÍS and specialist teacher in economics, science and technology.