Friday, January 19, 2007

No Profit In Ending Cancer

This hits it on the head. Why can't capitalism find a cure for the ultimate disease of capitalism; cancer. There is no profit in ending the disease.

Cancerous tumours can be shrunk without radiation by administering a drug already used safely in humans for decades, says a doctor whose research is creating a major buzz in medical circles. But because the drug cannot be patented, pharmaceutical companies won't be eager to fund clinical trials to bring it to market, leaving its future in question.

"We've succeeded in reducing tumours with a drug shown to have little side-effects in humans. You could essentially take it as a pill," said University of Alberta researcher Evangelos Michelakis.

The drug is called dichloroacetate, or DCA.

Michelakis, working with several researchers in Edmonton and Ottawa, discovered how DCA can reverse the hallmark weapon of cancer's plague: The sudden ability of abnormal cells to multiply indefinitely, unchecked.

DCA restores a specific function of mitochondria -- the mini power engines that drive cellular activity.

Mitochondria normally cause unhealthy cells to die off, but that function is suppressed in cancer patients.

"In more than 50 years, no one's been able to figure out how to fix mitochondria in cancer patients," said University of Calgary oncology professor Dr. Randy Johnston, who's been studying cancer for 25 years.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THought I'd post this here:

Approximately 1% of 'discoveries' that enter clinical trials ever make it to FDA approval-meaning that they work. This one hasn't entered clinical trials.

For the patent, while DCA cannot be patented, all a scientist has to do is go through the chemical libraries and find a similar chemical that isn't patented, since the patent covers the specific target of the pathway AND the chemical.

More damaging, however, is that this group maintains there is "no evidence of toxicity" which of course is the main problem with most treatments. A quick look at pubmed shows that just four papers down, a clinical trial held in October WITH DCA shows toxic events on neurological pathways. Once again, don't take media's view of science seriously, journals have 50 papers like this a month. Want to cure cancer, stop creating the conditions that cause it.