The End of The Cancer-Cure Frenzy

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NEW YORK: It was only Monday morning that cancer was on the run. Stock in Entremed Inc. had risen tenfold to over 80 in the first moments of trading, news anchors were breathless, and cancer patients were speed-dialing their doctors -- all on the strength of an article in the Sunday New York Times touting the "two new drugs that can eradicate any type of cancer."

By Tuesday, though, the bulk of the Times coverage had shifted to the business section to focus on all the money that Entremed's stockholders had made, in an article pointed to from the front page by a rather timid feature piece with a different byline. It opened by recounting the frustrations of a desperate patient. By Tuesday afternoon, Entremed's stock had faded another six points to under 45. Just 48 hours after it was first floated, a cancer cure is not much closer to reality -- unless, of course, you're a mouse.