New Scientist has an article about a drug called DCA, which has been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders. It also has no patent. From New Scientist:
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…DCA can cause pain, numbness and gait disturbances in some patients, but this may be a price worth paying if it turns out to
be effective against all cancers. 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.
Could this be a cure for cancer? A real one? New Scientist has more info about human trials and where to donate money for further research. —MEGHANN MARCO
Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers [New Scientist]