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Forums » Archive » Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers 
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Joined: 2/21/2004
Posts: 19
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 5:09:36 PM
 
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn10971&feedId=online-news_rss20

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

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Michelakis suggests that the switch to glycolysis as an energy source occurs when cells in the middle of an abnormal but benign lump don’t get enough oxygen for their mitochondria to work properly (see diagram). In order to survive, they switch off their mitochondria and start producing energy through glycolysis.

Crucially, though, mitochondria do another job in cells: they activate apoptosis, the process by which abnormal cells self-destruct. When cells switch mitochondria off, they become “immortal”, outliving other cells in the tumour and so becoming dominant. Once reawakened by DCA, mitochondria reactivate apoptosis and order the abnormal cells to die.

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The next step is to run clinical trials of DCA in people with cancer. These may have to be funded by charities, universities and governments: pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to pay because they can’t make money on unpatented medicines. The pay-off is that if DCA does work, it will be easy to manufacture and dirt cheap.
Joined: 10/12/2005
Posts: 4041
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 5:33:03 PM
 
Ай лайк зе вордc "relatively safe"... :)
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