Identifying effective cancer treatments is never an easy process, and even drugs that make it to the market are rarely effective on every patient. As cancer treatment becomes more personalized, clinicians have come to realize how biological factors beyond a patient’s control—especially gender—can determine treatment outcome. Oncologists often know a treatment may fail, not based on mountains of study, but through their own frustration that comes from treating patients.
This is because studies on blockbuster cancer drugs rarely reflect the population of patients who fall ill with the disease they seek to cure. This is a challenge for many patient populations but an overwhelming amount of research shows females suffer unjustly from clinical trial inequality.
“Except for the cancers for male patients and female patients—prostate cancer is obviously all male and breast cancer is predominantly female—we don’t pay that much attention to the gender of our models or how that would affect treatment outcomes,” says Dr. Faye Johnson of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “ But research suggests that we really should.”
Apr 03, 2017 0