A recent Wall Street Journal article by Amy Dockser Marcus reveals that many cancer cell lines used in research labs around the world are contaminated or misidentified.
While shocked and upset by the discovery, my confidence in treatment recommendations based on data from Phase III clinical trials remains strong, because these are studies of treatments used on people, not cell lines.
My confidence in all clinical research remains strong, too. The WSJ article did not expose a problem with the scientific method, but rather with lack of adherence to the rigorous standards for authentication and documentation demanded by good research
As a Healthy Survivor—namely, a survivor who gets good care and lives as fully as possible—I know the power of science lies in its ability to uncover truths about what things are and how they work I know that disappointing study results and dead ends are unavoidable in the pursuit of truths about cancer and how best to treat it.
And I know that science demands complete transparency, because transparency is how we learn from our mistakes.
As a Healthy Survivor, I choose to look forward, not back, confident that this shocking news will not only eliminate the problem of misidentified cell lines, but also increase the demand by politicians and the public for complete transparency.
As a Healthy Survivor, I will continue to look to the future of cancer care with unbridled hope, because science-based hope is stronger than that based on observation, anecdote or wishful thinking.