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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)

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Cancer Centre

January 2007

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