The war against cancer may finally be won. Scientists have discovered a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their immortality. And it's a drug that has ALREADY been used for years, so doctors know it's safe. Other researchers are trying to use one deadly disease against another?HIV cells to kill cancer.
In New Scientist, Andy Coghlan reports that the drug is called dichloroacetate (DCA). No drug company holds the patent, so it can be produced cheaply, in a generic form. When injected into the bodies of rats with lung, breast and brain cancer, it killed the cancer cells but NOT the healthy cells. The problem with current cancer treatments is that they kill all cells.
Cancer cells are sick, but they keep growing because they don't react to internal signals urging them to die. Now researchers an efficient way to get a messenger into cancer cells that forces them to respond to death signals. And they did it using one of the most sinister pathogens around?HIV.
Researcher William G.Hawkins says, "HIV knows how to insert itself into many different types of cells. A portion of the HIV protein called TAT can transport biologically active compounds into cells. TAT is small, but it can move massive molecules. You could almost hook TAT up to a train, and TAT would drag it inside a cell. So we've taken advantage of this ability."
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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