Novel immunotherapies, like T cell therapy, may have shown recent successes but they also come with a number of setbacks, such as long timelines and serious adverse reactions. As CEO of the Dutch biotech Kiadis Pharma, Arthur Lahr has been leading the development of a technology that could overcome these limitations by using natural killer cells.
While cancer immunotherapies address a number of the shortcomings traditional treatments have, patient survival rates are still low for many cancers. For example, in lung cancer, the most common form of cancer worldwide, the five-year survival rate lies at only 17.8%.
“Although there has been lots of progress in cancer therapy over the last decades, unfortunately, many people still suffer from cancer relapse after treatment and die from cancer,” said Lahr. “Current treatments do not cure people yet. And quite frankly, I do not believe people that say the magic bullet is around the corner and we will soon eradicate cancer.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the biotech industry, Lahr believes that progress in cancer therapies is possible with time. However, the vast differences seen in patients with the same cancer diagnosis and the fact that many tumors can escape current immunotherapies means there is a long road ahead before the ‘magic bullet’ can be found.
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