Despite no ‘magic bullet,’ cancer research barrels on

SEATTLE — Associated with the pandemic of cancer has always been the elusive goal of curing entirely one of the most deadly diseases humanity has ever known.

While a sure-fire cure hasn’t been discovered — and may never be, as scientists often point out that the complexity of the disease doesn’t lend itself to a one-size-fits-all solution — tremendous progress has been made in cancer prevention, research and treatment.

“Every form of cancer could be considered a different disease,” said Dr. Derek Lindstrom, a post doctoral researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “It’s not realistic to think there’s one solution to all cancers. There’s not going to be a magic bullet, but there may be common themes (in treatment).”

Advancement in research has come largely through donations from the American Cancer Society (ACS), a leading fund-raising arm in the fight against a disease that is estimated to take about 570,000 lives in the United States this year alone.

That number proves there is a long way to go. But they’ve also come a long way: The chances of overcoming cancer are now greater than 50 percent, the ACS reports.

Of the approximately $270 million the ACS spent last year on programs, about $128 million went to research and another $60 million went to prevention programs. Combined, that makes up about 70 percent of its total expenditures.

Today also will mark the beginning of North Kitsap’s own ACS Relay for Life Fund-raiser, starting at 10 a.m. at the North Kitsap High School track. While last year’s event raised

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