A cure for cancer?

In January 2007, Canadian researchers seem to have found a simple and effective cure for some types of cancer – namely lung, brain and breast. I’m only writing about this now as it seems like the hubpages link (here) is going viral through facebook and perhaps people may need further clarification since there isn’t even a publication date. The supposed cure was found using (DCA), something currently used to treat metabolic disorders. The drug used is something which is cheap compared to other cancer treatments, which may explain why there has been little attention from pharmaceutical companies as they can not patent it.
From hubpages:

Scientists tested this dichloroacetate on human’s cells; it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells and left the healthy cells alone. It was tested on Rats inflicted with severe tumors; their cells shrank when they were fed with water supplemented with DCA. The drug is widely available and the technique is easy to use, why the major drug companies are not involved? Or the Media interested in this find?

In human bodies there is a natural cancer fighting human cell, the mitochondria, but they need to be triggered to be effective. Scientists used to think that these mitochondria cells were damaged and thus ineffective against cancer. So they used to focus on glycolysis, which is less effective in curing cancer and more wasteful. The drug manufacturers focused on this glycolysis method to fight cancer. This DCA on the other hand doesn’t rely on glycolysis instead on mitochondria; it triggers the mitochondria which in turn fights the cancer cells.

Most pages have been really positive about these findings; likening it to some kind of “miracle drug” and focusing more on how pharmaceutical companies and the media won’t pick it up. Perhaps the media are not interested in disseminating this radical information yet as still further testing is required and it is not certain yet that it really works. You can read the original research here.

Glenn Beck even did a report about it:

But for some reason it seems like this has not been the “miracle cure” that it’s been painted to be, because it is still not widely used and some patients have reported some disturbing side effects such as numbing of the hands, feet and face.

It seems that this DCA solution is most effective when used in combination with other drugs, so in 2010 MIT researchers combined DCA with cisplatin. This then displayed a “dual-killing” mode which was only effective in cancer cells! However, further research is required. In the meantime, DCA is still not approved for cancer treatment in the USA.

People should be warned to search google for alternative answers for curing cancer, as it is articles like the one on hubpages that don’t fully explain the situation but instead pick a sensationalist headline (and forget the publication date? — most people won’t even notice that the first comment on this article was posted 4 years ago!) and perhaps may give false hope to those suffering from the illness.

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1 Comment

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