The drug treatment is generally preferred in the earlier stages of cancer, especially for kids. However, the kids were found to be at risk as the backbone of the treatment for specific childhood cancers like leukemias, lymphomas, and brain tumors were found to be scarce. The doctors were brought to the edge of the cliff as there are many kids dealing with cancer and lack of drugs for the treatment is only going to worsen the condition. The health authorities have thus made it necessary to ration the doses to avoid any such shortage in the future. The US has in the past few years shown an increase in childhood cancers and there have also been persistent shortage of medication. The drug vincristine, which is used in case of certain types of childhood cancers, has no appropriate substitute till date.
The shortages of the chemotherapy drug are going to affect children in various parts of the country and the physicians will have to make difficult decisions. For having the drugs provided to various parts, there is only one possibility that is having the doses lowered or skipped and lastly, begged. The drug is found to be important for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is the most common childhood cancer or even in the rarest Wilms tumor. Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceutical used to supply the drug but in July, Teva decided to no longer distribute the drug. Pfizer is facing manufacturing trouble and thus, the shipment of drug is being delayed. The generic drugs are found to be useful in these cases but to our bad luck, vincristine’s generic versions are not usually preferred.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, FDA, Congress, and other health officials plan to discuss the matter soon to have the supplies of vincristine back on track. Similarly, Mayo Clinic has recently come up with a new treatment for certain types of cancer and that is the mode of vaccination. The new vaccine is assumed to help boost the immune system such that the body’s own cells can put up a strong fight against the cancerous cells and avoid further proliferation. Thus, this new treatment can help inhibit cancer from spreading in the early stages itself and also avoid the painful & invasive therapies.