Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That's a Good Question

#1 Blogdaughter sends this one in with the tagline "Why Aren’t We Hearing More?"

Scientists find treatment to kill every kind of cancer tumor
Researchers might have found the Holy Grail in the war against cancer, a miracle drug that has killed every kind of cancer tumor it has come in contact with, the New York Post reported.

The drug works by blocking a protein called CD47 that is essentially a "do not eat" signal to the body's immune system, according to Science Magazine.
Ah. New York Post. That explains quite a bit... Y'know, I can't help but think that if there were some new cancer breakthrough that was capable of stopping all kinds of cancers with a 100% success rate, that we'd be hearing a little more about it than from a small blurb in the NY Post. Just a hunch here. And not for nothing, but did anyone notice this story is from last year? That's right - researchers found the cure for cancer a year ago, and yet no one has managed to tell, well, all the other researchers out there...

It does make you wonder, though. What if this really was the cure for cancer? What if we really had stopped one of the most pernicious and puzzling diseases out there? Only heart disease kills more people every year, and at that it's only about 20K more out of nearly 600K. Imagine a half-million more people living every year. Imagine the research that would be shut down. I wonder if the medical establishment would even let a full-blown cure for cancer get off the ground?

It's still interesting to think about, but I suspect that this story never really went anywhere because there was no "there" there...

That is all.


Dave H said...

There are a lot of things that kill cancer. Cyanide comes to mind. But the side effects are rough.

A potential problem I see with this protein blocker is if it allows the immune system to attack malignant cells, does it also allow the immune system to attack normal cells? This could be a reason we haven't heard any more about it.

Marty said...

FYI, This is currently in human trials. We are still 3 to 5 years out. I just read a new white paper about this in January.

Very positive thus far.

Marty said...

BTW, They are keeping it quiet because they use stem cells in this treatment...

ASM826 said...

If they did cure cancer, we would see a sharp rise in deaths for heart disease.

People might be a few years older, mind you, but the media would be all OMG-Eleventy11! about the sudden spike in heart and cardiovascular related deaths. Probably blame it on global warming.

Death rate is always 100% in the long run.

Sailorcurt said...

Pretty much everyone stole my thunder on this one. My first thought was (similar to Dave H's) a .45 acp to the base of the skull is guaranteed to kill any kind of cancer.

Heck, the whole point of Chemotherapy is "poison the subject and hope the cancer dies before they do".

All seriousness aside though, Marty is probably right. The article was written in 2012 and they were still testing on mice so I'd figure 10 years from then before any hope of FDA approval. How many potential cures have been promising during animal trials and turned out to be either more harm than good, or completely ineffective on humans?

It's promising if it actually is in the human trial stage (link please Marty?), but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Remember the "Barbie Pill" hype? I think I first read about that one 20 years ago when it was in animal testing. Where is it? If you don't remember, it was supposed to be a diet pill that really worked, but it's side effects were natural increase of skin pigmentation (tanning), lightening of hair, and increased libido.

I've been waiting 20 years to get one of those to crush up and put in my wife's morning coffee.

(That's a joke, really...put the knife down...)

AndyN said...

It's university research. This was the first thing that came to mind...

Part way through his project to reproduce promising studies, Begley met for breakfast at a cancer conference with the lead scientist of one of the problematic studies.

"We went through the paper line by line, figure by figure," said Begley. "I explained that we re-did their experiment 50 times and never got their result. He said they'd done it six times and got this result once, but put it in the paper because it made the best story. It's very disillusioning."

University researchers are paid (by taxpayers) to publish, not to produce a marketable result. I'll believe there's something to this when a commercial enterprise starts putting money into developing it.

The funny thing is, I bet most people who read this blog readily understand that about climate "scientists" but are probably surprised that anyone would accuse medical researchers of the same thing.

tjbbpgobIII said...

Where would all the medical fabricators and medicine like Chemo and others. I believe the last cure of something was polio(in this hemisphere)and now there is no need to produce any more iron lungs.