We all know someone who's been struck by cancer. At Pfizer, we share the same simple goal as everyone who loves a person battling cancer: to help them live longer and defeat this terrible disease.
That's why we're changing the way we do business. We've created a separate business unit focused exclusively on oncology. This change is giving cancer research the attention it deserves and more resources than ever before.
Our scientists are working in new ways. In the past, cancer research generally focused on detecting a small benefit for large numbers of cancer patients. Today, researchers are looking for a bigger effect in a smaller, more targeted group of patients.
They are doing this through advanced genetic and biologic profiling of both tumors and people. This enables us to learn how different types of cancer affect different people in different ways. By using these highly-specialized techniques, we're aiming to design treatments personalized for the unique needs of individual people.
These changes are leading to important advancements in treatment, many of which we will present to the country's leading oncologists at their annual meeting this week in Chicago. We're especially excited about a potential new medicine called crizotinib. It's in late-stage studies to test whether it can help people living with a certain type of lung cancer, and whether it's safe for them to use it.
Crizotinib targets a specific genetic abnormality that occurs most often in young people who have lung cancer, even though they have smoked only a little bit, or even not at all. The medicine is still in the experimental stage, but it's showing very exciting and promising results.