Friday, January 19, 2007

Cheap, Safe Drug Kills Most Cancers

I'll say it again: smoke to your heart's content! And while you're at it, eat some lead and start tanning! New Scientist reports "Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers" (hat tip to the not safe for work Daily Adult Joke):

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

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.