Wednesday, February 21, 2007

An open-source cure for cancer

IT 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.


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.

By God I love the free market.

Read the entire story from The New Scientist Magazine here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clinical trials like this would cost over a billion dollars. There are many drugs like this that show promise in test tubes and other various pre research trials. The fact of the matter is 9 out of 10 of these type of drugs don't make it to market because of saftey and or efficacy concerns once tested in humans.

To say you hate free market over this one drug shows you truly don't understand how this all works. Cure for cervical cancer, LDL lowering statins, Cure for polio,other vaccines, and many other life changing drugs would never be here if it weren't for the free market. Who would fund all these trials knowing they would fail 90% of the time if they couldn't actually make it all back and then some on the one drug that makes it?