Tess Livingstone; 9/1/10;
Integrated approaches in Europe to fighting cancer could be adopted here. Cancer patients and their loved ones are anxious and curious about what modern science will have on offer soon, and for them there’s a revelation on the way. More than 100 cancer specialists met in Vienna for their annual conference last month, joined by younger doctors eager to learn. It was about the time the first sod was turned for a new comprehensive cancer centre in Sydney, named after renowned surgeon Chris O’Brien, who died of a brain tumour last year. The co-incidence was appropriate because the specialists who met in the Austrian capital are integrative oncologists, who draw on all the valid therapies available. Some of the therapies discussed and displayed last month look and sound like science fiction. But in the splendour of the palatial Natural History Museum, built on Vienna’s elegant Ringstrasse to house the scientific collection of the Habsburgs in the 19th century, the speakers evoked a strong sense of the possible.