Patrick Swayze is one of the many individuals battling pancreatic cancer, and in his hellish drug regimen is an experimental medication called Vatalanib, which attempts to stunt the growth of the cells in tumors.

The drug innovations vary widely in scope. Some are perfectly legal and actually aim to revolutionize the way medicine is delivered to the body, ultimately helping cancer patients like Patrick Swayze. Others are very illegal and indicate our culture's continuing need to self-medicate and distance ourselves from reality with illicit drugs.