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Changes in development and evaluation of new cancer drugs: what is needed to guide practice?
  1. Wolf-Dieter Ludwig
  1. Correspondence to Wolf-Dieter Ludwig, HELIOS Clinic Berlin-Buch, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumor Immunology, Drug Commission of the German Medical Association, Schwanebecker Chaussee 50, 13125 Berlin, Germany; wolf-dieter.ludwig{at}

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Cancer remains an important public health problem in Europe. Due to an ageing population, the total number of new cases of cancer in Europe will continue to increase even if age-specific rates remain constant. There has been a reduction in cancer mortality during the past two decades that could be explained mainly by behavioural changes and screening procedures. At the same time, given a gradual shift from cytotoxic drugs to more or less selective, high-cost targeted therapeutic agents, the price spiral of cancer …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.