Chemist Derek Lowe says
we need to re-think the way we approach oncology:
It's quite possible that this is what we're going to see - small improvements that gradually add up, with no big leaps. If the alternative is no improvement at all, I'll gladly take that. But some other therapeutic areas have perhaps made us expect more. Infectious disease, for example: the early antibiotics looked like magic, as patients that everyone fully expected to die started asking when dinner was and when they could go home. That's what everyone wants to see, in every disease, and having seen it (even fleetingly), we all want to have it happen again. And it has happened for a few tumor types, most notably childhood leukemia. But we definitely need to add more to the list, and it's been a frustrating business.