There’s no such thing as “the cure” for cancer simply because there are so many different types of cancers, with different mechanisms for how mutate or behave. So there are many different chemotherapeutic approaches and regimens to try to target them.
Some treatments can cure or potentially cure a cancer. Some patients don’t have a good enough functional status to receive particular treatments (the side effects can be worse than the cancer). Just getting into a trial requires a good functional status, because they need to reduce or eliminate other causes of morbidity and mortality to figure out how effective a trial drug is. So we don’t know all of the factors going in to whether John McCain received a particular treatment.
The cell growth of cancers all involve the loss of specificity of the cell resulting in an abnormal cell that proliferates. Any organ cell has the potential to do that. The ability to hinder that loss or proliferation in any cell could be a universal mechanism not specific to each cancer type.
For what its worth, I know three people who beat cancer with modern medical treatments.
One is my SIL who had stage 3 breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemo and radiation and who has been cancer free for over 20 years. The other was a child of a friend of mine. The child had acute leukemia and underwent chemo and some experimental treatments at Johns Hopkins at about two years old and is now a college graduate and married woman with children of her own. The other is a friend who was diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery and chemo and is still living and cancer free ten years on.
Ive also know some people who have died from cancer. It all depends on the type of cancer, how early it is caught and yes, how well they tolerate the treatments and there is no one size fits all approach anymore. Immunotherapy is looking very promising.
I worked for several years for a small startup pharmaceutical company in Baltimore (in the finance department) and their main drug was a treatment for glioblastoma, a chemotherapy wafer that was placed in the brain after the tumor was removed. The founder of the company was a neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins who had seen so many die from it, that he wanted to develop a cure and if not a cure, a way to stop its advance and extend life.
Unfortunately, glioblastoma multiforme is insidious and aggressive and normal length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months, with fewer than 3% to 5% of people surviving longer than five years and without treatment survival is typically 3 months. And not all glioblastomas are operable. I understand that McCains is not operable and hes been getting chemo and radiation therapy but the eventual outcome is not good.
All this talk of they have a cure for cancer but are withholding it is just so much pure steaming BS.