Making Cancer Drugs Available For A Wider Pool Of Patients

17:27 minutes

a black and white image of a breast cancer cell, photographed by a scanning electron microscope. it's a 3D image of a round bumpy cell, with binding sites coming off it
Breast cancer cell. Credit: National Cancer Institute/Public Domain

For patients whose cancer has metastasized, the options can be limited. While new drugs are being developed, they are often only approved for a specific subset or stage of cancer—sometimes even a specific age group. However, researchers are looking to expand on a pool of patients that can get these new drugs.

Dr. Sara Hurvitz, the director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at UCLA, joins Ira to talk about how a drug that was approved for breast cancer in postmenopausal women may soon be available for younger patients.

Also joining Ira is Dr. Neeraj Agarwal, the director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, to talk about a new treatment option for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

Further Reading

  • Read the study on the drug ribociclib, which may soon be available to younger patients with breast cancer published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 
  • See the full study of the clinical trial of the new drug for men with advanced prostate cancer in The New England Journal of Medicine. 
  • Learn more about breast cancer treatment therapies in the New York Times.

Donate To Science Friday

Invest in quality science journalism by making a donation to Science Friday.


Segment Guests

Sara Hurvitz

Sara Hurvitz is an associate professor and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

Neeraj Agarwal

Neeraj Agarwal is a professor of Medicine and Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Lucy Huang

Lucy Huang was Science Friday’s summer 2018 radio intern. When she’s not covering science stories, she’s busy procrasti-baking.

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

Explore More