cells in petry dishIt 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….

The next step is to run clinical trials of DCA in people with cancer. These may have to be funded by charities, universities and governments: pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to pay because they can’t make money on unpatented medicines. The pay-off is that if DCA does work, it will be easy to manufacture and dirt cheap. (NewScientist.com)
Reprinted with permission


  1. Still needs to be studied
    This drug can’t legally be prescribed until it’s tested in randomized controlled trials – an enormously expensive procedure that not only won’t be paid for by some pharma giant, but whose results will be attacked in every legal and otherwise venue by said pharma giants. If you’re well-to-do and reading this, please phone your local cancer research hospital and ask if any of their doctors are running or participating in a trial of this medicine, and offer to help!

    I contacted the ACS about this, and they have no say as to what gets studied – they only give grants to doctors who have already formulated studies. The doctors need to know that they can get backing for research to study this drug, or it’ll languish with everything else that won’t make some pharma CEO richer.

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