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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 20 October 2017 > The Artificial Miracle

The Artificial Miracle

From in vitro to in silico: AI’s search for cancer cures


FOUR OUR OF 10—THAT’S HOW many Americans the National Cancer Institute estimates will be diagnosed with cancer at some point. While 33 percent of those patients won’t live longer than five years, giving them precious little time to find effective treatments, it takes over a decade to bring new cancer drugs to market. The process involves animal testing, human trials and regulatory review—a gantlet through which less than 7 percent of experimental medicines successfully pass. Is it any wonder, then, that there are less than 2,000 Food and Drug Administration- approved pharmaceuticals on the market? Not 2,000 cancer treatments— 2,000 drugs for all diseases.

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PAIN KILLERS How the VA fueled The Opioid Crisis and destroyed the lives of thousands of vets. Suicides are the widespread despair behind them are yet another tragic element of a national opioid crisis blamed for most of the sixty four thousand fatal drug overdoses a year. Opioids, mostly illegally obtained counterfeit pills and heroin, now account for 63 percent of all drug deaths in the U.S., with fatalities climbing at an astounding rate of nearly twenty percent a year. In fact, the estimated number of drug deaths in 2016 topped the total number of soldiers killed in the Iraq and Vietnam wars.