In a powerful and thought-provoking editorial recently published on The Hill, John Morrissey – the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation – deemed the acceleration of access to new cancer treatments “a moral imperative.”
Morrissey blames an outdated and inefficient system of clinical trials for keeping potentially life-extending therapies out of the hands of the patients who need them. “Today when a patient is prescribed a so-called new cancer treatment,” he writes, “it is actually the product of testing that left the laboratory as much as ten years before.”
Reflecting back on his family’s own struggles with cancer, Morrissey urges policymakers to overhaul our current system. “Let’s harness the real power of new science, of big data, of the specificity of genome sequencing,” he implores. “Let’s re-imagine a review process in which each patient would get the best option and the most advanced care. Then, using computing tools with Google-like power we can capture and share all the data from their experiences.”
The full text of Morrissey’s important statement, entitled Closing the Gap Between Testing and Treatment, can be found here.