No, there won’t be a “cure for cancer in 2 years”

I’ve got a new post up on the Cancer Research UK Science Update blog in response to stories in the press claiming a “cure for breast cancer in two years”.

While the science behind the story is really interesting (microRNAs – something I’ve blogged about before) in the words of Ben Goldacre, I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.

What do you think when you see headlines like that? And what do you think when you read the word “breakthrough”?

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2 responses to “No, there won’t be a “cure for cancer in 2 years”

  1. When I got my Ph.D. someone gave me a card with an astronaut picture that said, ‘One small step for mankind but a very big one for you’ which I think sums up scientific progress in general but small steps just don’t make for big news – so you can see why they do it. It’s a toughie – you want science to get attention but not to be misrepresented – as a scientist I definitely get more kudos than I deserve partly due to the current public pereception – hmmm – this topic could be discussed endlessly

    • Heh – I like the sound of the card. It’s a double-edged sword, trying to maintain coverage of science in the mdeai without it being overhyped, or raising false hopes for patients.
      But dammit, I want to know why we don’t have teleporters or invisibility cloaks yet!

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