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The Peter Attia Drive

Jul 27, 2020

Azra Raza is a physician, scientist, author, and outspoken advocate for reconfiguring the current model of research in cancer. In this episode, Azra discusses the content of her book, The First Cell, which takes a critical look at the outdated models being used to study cancer resulting in a lack of progress in survival rates for cancer patients. Azra offers a solution which focuses on early detection and prevention, and she concludes with an optimistic outlook for the future of cancer research.
We discuss:
  • Azra’s upbringing, interest in oncology, and the basis for writing her book [3:30];
  • The lack of progress in cancer treatment over the decades [18:45];
  • What is holding the oncology field back? [33:15];
  • Do the purported advances in oncology reflect the billions of dollars spent on cancer research? [40:00];
  • Economics of new cancer drugs—how small increases in survival come with staggering financial burdens [47:00];
  • How good intentions can still lead to misaligned incentives and a broken system [1:03:00];
  • Why 95% of new cancer drugs fail—a critical review of the cancer research model [1:11:15];
  • Early detection and prevention—a potential solution to the cancer problem [1:22:30];
  • Coping with the loss of her husband to cancer [1:46:00];
  • Azra’s optimistic view of the future [1:49:30]; and
  • More.

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