Tracking Tumors

Looking for early signs of a therapy's success

12:09pm, February 26, 2002

Patience is a virtue . . . sometimes. For people with cancer, patience can be deadly–but they often have no alternative. A treatment can take months to shrink a tumor measurably, slow tumor growth, or prove itself ineffective. While doctors and patients wait on such sluggish gauges of success or failure, friends and family agonize, patients suffer side effects, and the cancer may be spreading undetected throughout the body.

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