Has Time Come to Stop Investing in Chemopreventive Trials?

Questions in Plenary theatre

The final Big Debate of World Cancer Congress 2018 moderated by Meera Sivesothy with David Weller for the notion and Richard Wender against.

In the final Big Date of the congress, the question of ceasing to invest in chemopreventive trials was brought up. Pre-debate polls showed that 62% of the audience voted against the notion.

Richard Wender from American Cancer Society argued that chemopreventive agents have been proven as a cancer prevention strategy. He stated that although the invested millions before only reaped modest rewards, there have been breakthroughs that have shown useful. He urged that investments for trials should be maintained but these trials need to have a clear research plan to make the most of the funding.

In opposition, David Weller from University of Edinburgh highlighted that funding should be more directed to already proven methods of primary prevention rather than invest in more chemopreventive trials. He added that there is poor uptake of available chemopreventive agents despite good evidence. Professor Weller also brought up the issue of over-medicalisation of healthy patients as a possible side effect of more chemopreventive agents.

After an energetic debate and questions from the audience, the live polling showed a similar result – more than two-thirds of the voters disagree to stop investment in chemopreventive trials.

Article contributed by Putri Jasmine Filza Firdaus