The side effects John-Peter Bradford endured four years ago as he underwent radiation therapy and surgery for throat cancer were, he says, "barbaric." Still, the potent treatment worked, eradicating the tumour and saving his life. … Michael Pollak, an oncologist and internationally recognized treatment researcher across town at McGill University, maintains that cancer science has, in fact, made great strides in the last 40 years. But even he admits that well-meaning scientists often leave patients with an exaggerated sense of their achievements. "The researchers are always announcing fantastic progress and breakthroughs - and the patients are still getting sick and dying," said Dr. Pollak. "The people who are announcing cancer breakthroughs, I'd like them to walk through the cancer ward.... You see all these thin and kind of desperate patients."