The realities of pursuing the cure for cancer

Written by Cindy Perettie, Head of Global Product Strategy, Oncology

The reason I come to work every day is to transform the lives of people with cancer. My colleagues and I work tirelessly, together with our world-class researchers, partners and collaborators to explore science and technology with the aim of making clinically significant contributions – ones that advance the science and bring more hope for patients facing this terrible disease.

Medical conferences, such as the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, taking place in Madrid, provide us with an opportunity to share and discuss our latest research with the scientific community. We are always particularly excited and proud to share our breakthroughs at these meetings, especially when we have data that truly transform the treatment landscape and change the lives of patients forever. It is these life-changing and treatment-transforming advances that we strive to deliver.

However, cancer is a complex disease. After having developed breakthrough solutions that help prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor cancer for more than 50 years, we understand that progress in pursuing a cure often consists of small, incremental advances in scientific understanding that finally unlock a major step forward.

I believe we are in a critical period of cancer research and development. We are looking forward to an unprecedented number of data readouts from our pipeline over the next few months. These study results will hopefully provide hugely important insights into the biology and immunology of cancer, and inform how we can best treat this very complex disease.

In the meantime, we are excited to present data at ESMO 2017 – the most important oncology congress in Europe – in the form of 116 scientific abstracts involving 18 of our medicines, as well as important new evidence from our broad biomarker science and diagnostics program. For example, we look forward to sharing results from our first retrospective studies of a blood-based assay measuring tumour mutational burden, an approach we are pioneering with our partners at Foundation Medicine.

Each and every one of these scientific abstracts was made possible by patients, their support network, and the scientists and doctors who conducted the research. Without their contribution, the progress of medical science would grind to a halt. The abstracts at meetings like ESMO may look like small steps forward, but together they represent the crucially important and significant building blocks that are required, as we collectively pursue a cure for cancer.

At Roche, we are committed to pursuing a cure for cancer through this process of small steps and giant leaps and we can’t wait to share the news of our progress in Madrid while learning from the best and the brightest minds in oncology.

Meetings like ESMO give me so much hope that the scale of our collective efforts will continue to make transformative differences for people with cancer around the world.

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