Why is Cancer so Hard? Claudia Fernandes tells us her thoughts…

In our second edition of Why is Cancer so Hard? we chat to Claudia Fernandes, Alliances Manager, about her take on why cancer is so difficult to treat and, eventually, cure: 

Everybody has heard about cancer.  

Most people have had close contact with cancer, be a family member or a friend.  

And many people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime – the #American Cancer Society estimates this at around 39.5% of men and women. 

So prevalent.  

So devastating. 

Why so complicated? 

Cancer is not a single disease, but a collection of diseases characterised by uncontrollable cell growth. Think breast cancer, bowel cancer, brain cancer… 

And each type of cancer has various subtypes. For example, breast cancer can be divided into luminal (A or B), HER2-positive, and triple-negative. And even then, it’s still not a plain picture. Most of these subtypes have different molecular markers, expression and mutations. 

All this diversity makes C-A-N-C-E-R a problem too challenging to develop a one-size-fits-all treatment. As such, you need different groups of scientists, researchers and medical professionals all coming together to address each one of these heterogeneous problems. 

As a scientist this is a daunting task! How can my little effort make a little difference in such a big problem? However, if you work hard (and with a big chunk of luck), one day you may have a molecule you developed going into human clinical trials. And you may hear a testimonial from a patient that is now cancer-free and how that changed their lives. And knowing that that may one day be a possibility makes it all worthwhile! 

About Isogenica

Isogenica is a biotechnology company specializing in the discovery and development of small format single chain VHH antibodies. We are leaders in our domain, having developed a fully synthetic, in vitro plug-and-play cassette-based approach to efficiently generate combinations of bi- and tri-specific biotherapeutics. Drawing on more than 20 years at the forefront of antibody discovery and engineering, we have built a unique and proven engine for biotherapeutic development and a deep pipeline including two clinical stage assets and more than ten partnered pre-clinical and discovery stage programmes.


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