New Scientist recently posted an update to their story on DCA, a cheap chemical which is so readily available in industry that pharmaceutical companies are unable to get a patent on it - so the funding is not available for human clinical trials to see if it can safely cure cancer in humans.
The initial research at the University of Alberta is exceptionally promising, and represents an entirely new approach to attacking cancer.
The gist of it is this. Normal cells use their mitochondria to create the energy they need to live. In cancer cells, which tend to be oxygen-starved, the mitochondria can't do their job (no oxygen!), so the cell switches them off and reverts to an older survival mechanism - glycolysis.
Unfortunately, the mitochondria themselves are what controls cell death (apoptosis), and with them out of the way, the cells become "immortal", and will not commit suicide, even though they're now cancerous.
The chemical DCA turns the mitochondria back on, enabling the faulty cells to commit suicide, and then the immune system cleans up the rest of the mess.
Please DONATE money to the University of Alberta Dr.Michelakis - Cancer Research Fund (make sure you select this from the list of funds they allow you to donate to) to allow them to perform the necessary human trials to get this drug into the hands of doctors.
I've donated $100 in memory of my mum, Linda Marie Cooke, who died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 37.
They also have a site you can sign up for email updates when they have new information on the progress of the research.
This represents possibly the most amazing medical research I've heard of in recent years. Well, that and the use of enzymes extracted from the intenstines of icelandic Cod as a potent cure for the common cold, influenza, arthritis and eczema.
Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.
The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).