San Antonio cancer doctors and patients gathered today at the U.T. Health M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to participate in the annual Biden Cancer Community Summit, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The event is hosted nationally by former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, in honor of their son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
Dr. Ruben Mesa, who is the director of the cancer center, said he is optimistic about the future of cancer research.
"The good news is that we're making tremendous strides in not only finding ways to find cancer earlier, finding ways to prevent it, and providing a better life for cancer survivors," he said.
Doctors and patients say immunotherapy, essentially programming the body's own immune system to detect and fight cancer cells, may be the 'silver bullet' that researchers have been looking for to fight all cancers.
"We are catching cancer earlier, we have better cancer treatments, and we have better outcomes for patients." Dr. Mesa said.
Many physicians say while the elimination of cancer is not in the immediate future, there is talk of 'controlling' cancer, so patients can live with it as a chronic disease, like diabetes, and not worry about dying from it.
But they say that turning cancer into a disease like cholera or yellow fever, which killed millions of people in the past but in not longer a threat, is a very real possibility.