癌症的复发

发自加拿大安大略省伦敦市——人类在多种癌症的治疗方面都取得了进展,而病人的存活期也不断延长,这有赖于两方面的研究:癌症的早期诊断,以及更有效且毒性更低的治疗方法。事实上,美国目前约有1000万名癌症康复者,且数量还在稳步上升。其他发达国家康复者占总人口的比例也与美国相当。

那些早期发现的癌症——当癌瘤较为细小且尚未扩散(指从原发瘤处蔓延开来)时——更容易通过局部治疗来应对,但一旦扩散则任何治疗方案的成功率都将微乎其微。而改良的疗法意味着病人可以得到更有效的药物治疗(也更可能得到足够的所需剂量)。

但我们在检测和治疗癌症方面所取得的重大进展也引起了对肿瘤休眠问题的更多重视:病人往往似乎被治愈了,但却在数年甚至数十年之后复发。比如在乳腺癌和黑素瘤方面就有25年后再度复发的报告。

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