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Dr. Pernick's Curing Cancer Network

Copyright: 2021,, Inc.
Revised: 19 July 2021

  • This project of Dr. Pernick discusses the implementation of his strategic plan to substantially reduce cancer deaths. It is built on the management philosophy of to first determine your goals and then work towards them, even if they seem overly ambitious. We are more interested in reducing cancer deaths than doing things a certain way.
  • This project is independent of the textbook and its Editorial Board, and is not peer reviewed
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Agree or disagree?
We are starting a new feature called "Agree or disagree?". Each month, we will pose a provocative question relating to reducing cancer deaths and the following month we will post the responses.

July 2021 question:
  • We propose that pancreatic adenocarcinoma, NOS and other aggressive cancers can be successfully treated using large combinations of partially effective treatments directed against the tumor's malignant traits because the behavior of the whole is greater than the behavior of the sum of the parts, see Combinations Of Therapy to Substantially Reduce Cancer Deaths. Of course, this will require the development of new treatments against some of these traits.
  • Agree or disagree?
  • Email Dr. Pernick at with your opinion by 31 July 2021. He will reply to all serious responses and will post the best responses in August 2021, so also tell him how you want your name listed (full name, initials or anonymous).

July 2021 responses:
  • Clinically successful combinations of cancer therapies are often pharmacologically additive. When combining therapies that are individually highly effective, additivity can be the basis for spectacular clinical benefits, such as the RCHOP regimen producing high cure rates in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. One implication of drug additivity is that 'adding zeros' makes zero. This suggests that developing successful combination therapies for aggressive cancers will first require the development of more therapies that have good individual anti-tumor activity in these diseases. The standard for efficacy is not unattainably high. For example, before combination therapy became standard for pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemia, single therapies could produce temporary remissions, around 3 to 6 months in duration, in a quarter of the patients (these 'remissions' meant multiple log-kills resulting in the absence of detectable disease, and should not be confused for temporarily stable disease or partial response). These therapies went on to become the constituents of curative combination regimens.
    • By Adam Palmer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Grants related to our Strategic plan to reduce cancer deaths - deadline 30 September 2021
    We welcome your proposal (up to 500 words) to research one of the bulleted tasks discussed in our Strategic plan. Include CVs of principal investigators. Email Dr. Pernick at
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