This year, an estimated 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. Now, a New York Institute of Technology pharmacology expert contends that these patients' realities could grow increasingly harsher, as a monthslong shortage of chemotherapy drugs continues.

Low supplies of the commonly used chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and cisplatin are causing hospitals and healthcare systems across the country to ration the products and postpone necessary, lifesaving treatments. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network reports that 93% of cancer centers are experiencing shortages of carboplatin, while 70% are running low on cisplatin, which could have deadly consequences.

“Carboplatin and cisplatin remain the ‘classical drugs’ in the treatment of cancer,” says pharmacologist Maria Pino, Ph.D., associate professor at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This shortage can delay treatment, increasing psychological anxiety to the patient, family, and all those involved in the patient’s care.”

According to Pino, the shortage will ultimately impact a wide variety of cancer patients.

“Cisplatin is platinum-containing alkylating agent used to manage and treat solid tumors, including gynecological, testicular, and lung cancers, as well as hematologic malignancies,” she says. “Carboplatin is a second-generation platinum, approved for the management of advanced ovarian cancer.”