January 23, 2007

Canada May Be On The Verge Of The Cancer Cure

I know, we've heard this before. But one thing I have to admit, the fight against cancer has come a long way, even since the early 70's, when a cancer diagnosis might as well been a death sentence. Of course, it depends which cancers we are talking about today, but it seems that a lot of people get "cured." Maybe it has to do with the fact that more things are called cancer than they were way back when. I don't remember people talking about skin cancers in the 60's and early 70's, but I wasn't paying much attention either.

I'm one of those optimistic skeptics, but I really like what I've read about the potential cure written about at NewScientist.com. Bear in mind, I am not a biologist, or any type of scientist or doctor for that matter, but thanks to my laymans understanding about evolution, this stuff really looks exciting:

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

DCA attacks a unique feature of cancer cells: the fact that they make their energy throughout the main body of the cell, rather than in distinct organelles called mitochondria. This process, called glycolysis, is inefficient and uses up vast amounts of sugar.

Until now it had been assumed that cancer cells used glycolysis because their mitochondria were irreparably damaged. However, Michelakis’s experiments prove this is not the case, because DCA reawakened the mitochondria in cancer cells. The cells then withered and died.

It appears that this team is looking at cancer in a different way:

Paul Clarke, a cancer cell biologist at the University of Dundee in the UK, says the findings challenge the current assumption that mutations, not metabolism, spark off cancers. “The question is: which comes first?” he says.

Now the big problem is FUNDING the needed human research. Because DCA is not patented, drug firms can't make a ton of money off it. So the pubicly owned drug companies won't spend dough on research:

'Michelakis is concerned that it may be difficult to find funding from private investors to test DCA in clinical trials. He is grateful for the support he has already received from publicly funded agencies, such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and he is hopeful such support will continue and allow him to conduct clinical trials of DCA on cancer patients.'

"Nobody is going to make a billion dollars from this drug," Dr. Michelakis said. "But maybe it will help a lot of people with cancer."

I don't think Canada research will get stymied by the FDA. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

A website has been set up to take donations. It looks legit...and again I'm a skeptic. Check out DCA Research Information, and do your own diligence if you wish to donate.

Now, this is the kind of thing Bill Gates or Warren Buffett should throw a whack of money at. It is one thing to spend money on preventing cancer and other diseases in the third world (spending money on preventing babies in the third world and oil rich countries should be the priority though), it is another thing to cure cancer. Being the main contributor on a venture that cures cancer will ensure immortality, and the good kind of immortality, not the Hitler kind. Hey, maybe I can be remembered as the blogger who twisted Bill Gate's arm on this one.

H/T Shadow Of God at the Raving Atheist's Forum

Added tidbit: She Blinded Me With Science has a very interesting blog post about evolution and cancer.


  1. Your source is about as valid as the National Inquirer

  2. RE BEAJ:

    I don't think rickey likes ya mate. I clicked on his blog and it seems to be dedicated to you. The dude may have a mental problem.

  3. Newscientist is a HIGHLY reputable UK science magazine, akin to Scientific American and Popular Science. It's also been mentioned on CTV and in the globe and mail (but those don't really matter, they report on junk a lot too).

    If it wasn't for the funding issue, I'm sure the researchers would keep quiet until they had more results. Where's all the money that people donate for cancer research going anyways?

  4. Beep, "may have a mental problem" ?????

    Johnny eh, I think a lot of cancer research money goes to Tony Soprano and his boys.

  5. Only The Lord can cure cancer.

    (Of course, by that logic, The Lord also causes cancer, which always seems to get lost on these asshats. Oh well.)

    Rickey's act -- which amused me for about the first 2.4 seconds -- has grown exceedingly tedious. A troll is a troll, and even the bearded bastard on the clouds can't cure them. They're with us, like bacteria, Republicans, and humorless bosses, for eternity.

  6. Mike - Thought for the day:


  7. Mike, a good chunk of what humans are made up of, is bacteria.
    Rickey happens to have much more than is needed so he is sharing his excess on my blog.

    Rickey, have you ever been a patient in a mental ward? I know you don't like talking about yourself, but a lot of commenters here are very curious.

  8. Your typical use of deflection is amusing. Maybe if you got out of the house and got a real job and quit sponging off others, you would see a whole new world out there. You would also realise that your blog postings and lifestyle are related to fecal bacteria.

  9. Well, if it were true, it would be wonderful. Hope it gets verified by independent researchers.