Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a truly nasty disease and one I hope never to have the misfortune to be diagnosed with.

Last month, at the Chemotherapy Foundation in New York, Dr Norman Wolmark gave an entertaining lecture on what he called the "Decade of Discontent" in colorectal cancer, a bleak period where no new therapies or stunning ideas emerged and the researchers bogged themselves in answering minutiae rather than focusing on the bigger picture. 

He could well have been describing AML.