Imagine if you will that there is a drug that would kill almost any type of cancer, has very few side-effects and is relatively cheap. Actually, you don’t need to imagine it as it does exist and it’s called dichloroacetate or DCA. The problem is no pharmaceutical company will touch it because they can’t patent it and they can’t make ridiculous amounts of money on it. So much for compassionate corporations eh?
What DCA does is cause cancer cells to switch from using glycolysis to generate energy back to using the mitochondria for energy production. This causes the cells to revert from their immortal cancerous state where they commit suicide (apoptosis).
One problem with the drug is that it changes the way researchers need to look at cancer. Instead of being caused by a genetic mutation, they would have to change their point of way and admit that metabolism can spark cancer. My old mentor told me that the real definition of cancer is the abnormal growth and rate of growth of cells. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, cancer research is a big business and imagine the problem that would arise if we had a simple and inexpensive answer to many cancers? Lots of jobless researchers I guess.
After reading about this drug in the British journal New Scientist last week I think we need to change the name of drug companies from pharmaceuticals to harmaceuticals. The tag fits them better.