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This Is What the Future of Breast Cancer Care Will Look Like

Timothy Cook is the senior vice president of Global Oncology at Athenex Oncology We asked him about the biggest advancements in how we treat cancer.

Timothy Cook

Senior Vice President, Global Oncology at Athenex Oncology

Timothy Cook is the senior vice president of Global Oncology at Athenex Oncology, a U.S.-based, global biopharmaceutical company. We asked him about the biggest advancements in how we treat cancer and what he expects to change the most in the near future.

Over the past year, what do you believe are the most notable advancements in breast cancer care?

One of the most notable things is the sheer pace of innovation. With new drug approvals and data about sequencing and combination treatments, we are seeing practice-changing innovations that provide an improved survival benefit. Along with survival benefits comes the need to develop treatments that have fewer side effects.

What new practices can breast cancer doctors and nurses implement right now to help improve patient care?

As we collaborate with the oncology community, we know how important it is for women with metastatic breast cancer to feel “more like people and less like patients.” This can be accomplished by using communication tools to understand patient goals, providing questionnaires to measure distress, and considering new treatments that balance efficacy and side effect profiles with patient lifestyles.

How has new technology changed the ability to care for cancer patients?

IV chemotherapy, which has been foundational in metastatic breast cancer, has significant limitations and side effects. In the past, the ability to take chemotherapy by mouth was limited because the gastrointestinal tract can stop the drug from being absorbed. New drug technology, including drug candidates in our Orascovery platform, may allow patients to receive chemotherapy by mouth, which can help improve the treatment experience.

How do you envision cancer care will change and adapt in the next 10 years?  

Treatments are evolving to provide longer survival with improved quality of life and many can be received at home, on the patient’s terms. Technology is connecting healthcare professionals who are part of the same care team and paints a more complete picture of every patient.

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