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National panel on cancer visits Columbus

A national panel on Cancer treatments and prevention stopped in Columbus to gather testimony from physicians and pharmaceutical researchers. The President's Cancer Panel is looking for more effective treatments of all kinds of cancer.

The War on Cancer was declared in the early 1970s but progress has been slow. Panelist Clifton Leaf, executive editor of Fortune Magazine, says the annual bill for medical treatment of cancer was 61-billion dollars in 2002. At current growth rates the medical bills for cancer will rise to 94 billion dollars in the next decade, in part, Leaf says, because it's tough to find what he calls a "viable treatment" for cancers. Leaf says most new cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration between January of 1990 and November 2002 got a green light from the federal agency even though they failed to keep patients alive any longer than conventional treatments.