Molecule may shrink tumours

A molecule called dichloroacetate (DCA) shows great promise as a treatment for many different kinds of cancer, according to a Canadian study published Tuesday in the journal Cancer Cell.

DCA has been used for decades to treat metabolic diseases in children. The University of Alberta study found that DCA can shrink lung, breast, and brain tumours in both animal and human tissue tests, the Toronto Star reported.

The molecule did not seem to have any harmful effect on normal cells.

The researchers said DCA appears to reverse changes that occur in cancer cells that make them harder to kill. By reversing these changes, DCA makes cancer cells more vulnerable to normal cell death programming, the Star reported.

DCA is a manufactured molecule that's widely available and is not patented by any pharmaceutical company. The study authors said that means that the molecule could offer extremely inexpensive cancer therapy, costing as little as a few cents a day. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Cancer Centre

January 2007

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.