Scientists are close to developing an effective vaccine against cancer that will starve tumors to death. When they've tried to kill tumors before, the cancer has mutated and become resistant to the treatment. This new vaccine will target the blood cells that surround them. This prevents the cancerous cells receiving the nutrients they need, causing them to die.
Scientists still have to find out if the vaccine will prevent the body from healing if it?s unable to repair or regrow the blood vessels. "?If you deliver permanent immunity against the production of blood vessels?the body will not be able to repair itself after an accident, for example," says researcher Christian Ottensmeier.
For years, cancer patients have been told that if they want to get well, they need to have a positive outlook, which is hard to do in the midst of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. "There were some studies out there showing that positive thinking?will prolong the lives of cancer patients," says Dr. Edzard Ernst. "One study from 1989 gets cited over and over and over again, and we knew there were one or two negative studies on this too, so we decided to see if it was true." The researchers analyzed 11 studies that included a total of 1,500 patients and found that, "The data provided no evidence at all to show that these types of approaches prolong life in cancer patients," Ernst says.
Dr. Nathan Cherney worries that patients who relapse may be made to feel guilty. "The people who have been drawn in by this power of positive thinking thing. We've had situations of husbands berating their wives that they haven't been doing enough meditation, that they haven't been thinking positively enough," Cherney says. "This whole school of thought created an illusion of control, and when people do poorly, it's as if to say they haven't managed to control their tumor well enough, and that's not fair."
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