Malignant diseases develop slowly over time and are often preceded by identifiable pre-malignancies. As malignancy progresses so does genomic complexity and the ability of cancers to evade most therapeutic interventions. Accordingly, with some notable exceptions, a relatively low percentage of advanced cancers are effectively treated and even fewer are cured. Despite this appreciation, much less attention has been paid to intercepting the disease process compared to that of treating well-established and refractory disease. One frequently cited reason is that the pharmaceutical industry is not interested in these pursuits. In this commentary we attempt to define the true hurdles, the degree of difficulty inherent in each, and some important approaches to be considered.
- Received February 15, 2016.
- Revision received March 31, 2016.
- Accepted April 14, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.