Friday, December 11, 2009

Semi-universal cancer cure?

I've been sitting on this one for several weeks now. I don't remember how it first came across my radar, but Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the University of Alberta Department of Medicine, has shown that sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) causes regression in several cancers, including lung, breast, and brain tumors.

Apparently, the story has been out for well over a year (actually, according to the U of A website, since March of 2007), but it still seems to be a "back page" and "small print" story.

The problem: "The DCA compound is not patented and not owned by any pharmaceutical company, and, therefore, . . . difficult to find funding . . . to test . . . in clinical trials" and, of course, to promote.

For a popularized presentation of what this is all about, here's a Glen Beck TV spot:

For a summary webpage that includes links to almost anything you might be interested in finding, check out "The DCA Site."

Want to buy DCA? Here's your source.

And, finally, a full academic paper published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Michelakis is a quiet and understated man. You can see and hear him on the Glen Beck segment. But how is this for an understated summary (from the BJC article)?
The preclinical work on DCA (showing effectiveness in a variety of tumours and relatively low toxicity) (Bonnet et al, 2007), its structure (a very small molecule), the low price (it is a generic drug) and the fact that DCA has already been used in humans for more than 30 years, provide a strong rationale for rapid clinical translation.
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