The Atlantic

The Two Technologies Changing the Future of Cancer Treatment

Researchers are eager to leave behind the brutal side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.  
Source: Elaine Thompson / AP

Chemotherapy is the most widely known and widely successful treatment for cancer in medical history, but it’s also infamous for its side effects. For millions of people, surviving cancer means hair loss, months of nausea, drastic weight loss, and extreme fatigue, among many other bodily reactions that can make the treatment process brutal.

While speaking on a panel at Aspen Ideas: Health,, the Carnegie Mellon professor of biological and chemical engineering Elizabeth Wayne pointed out that many current cancer treatments were derived from things originally intended to kill people. “A lot of our drugs are warfare drugs that we’re just hoping people don’t die from afterward,” Wayne explained. “It’s always fascinating to me that one of the first drugs we went to was mustard gas.”

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