Scientists have unearthed a protein which has the potential to kill cancer cells. Testing is still in the early stages, but the compound appears to work against leukemia.
As someone who has lost friends to cancer, this is welcome news indeed.
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered the first compound that directly makes cancer cells commit suicide while sparing healthy cells. The new treatment approach, described in today’s issue of Cancer Cell, was directed against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells but may also have potential for attacking other types of cancers.
AML accounts for nearly one-third of all new leukemia cases and kills more than 10,000 Americans each year. The survival rate for patients has remained at about 30 percent for several decades, so better treatments are urgently needed.
The newly discovered compound combats cancer by triggering apoptosis — an important process that rids the body of unwanted or malfunctioning cells. Apoptosis trims excess tissue during embryonic development, and some chemotherapy drugs indirectly induce apoptosis by damaging DNA in cancer cells.
In my opinion, there is no more despicable disease than cancer, so its eradication would make the world a better place. Remember this story the next time some leftist screams about “Big Pharma.”