A Hope in the battle against cancer cells

A Hope in the battle against cancer cells

The Greek origin’s Evaggelos Mihelakis’ research team is giving an important battle for cancer treatment in resent years. The Professor, of the University of Alberta in Canada, argues that a drug which is already used for other diseases, can be a valuable tool in cancer treatment, not by «killing» the infected cells, but by «reprogramming» them.

This is the formulation DCA, which according to scientists, may diminish the tumors by changing the metabolism of cells. The researchers argue that although it is at an early stage, as the investigation was held in only five patients, the findings provide a basic proof that this treatment can be effective. However, the remaining steps are many, as the sample is still too small and the side-effects of the drug are not yet known.

The DCA is a common drug used in medicine in children with mitochondrial diseases in order to normalize their mitochondria. Dr. Mihelakis wondered if the same drug could be used to repair damage caused by cancer in mitochondria. Experimenting on mice, the research team found that the DCA helped reprogramming the mitochondria of cancer cells preventing the tumefaction of tumors in lungs, breast and brain, both in mice and human tissues.

Dr. Mihelakis used this formulation in patients with very aggressive glioblastoma(brain tumor). After 15 months, four of the patients had not tumefaction of tumors, while the rest three the existing tumor was diminished. The survey is running since 2007, however, what bothers him and the scientific community, is the illegal sale of the preparation via the Internet, which as he claims puts at risk the lives of people who undergo self-treatment.

That is why Evaggelos Mihelakis says to be cautiously optimistic about the progress of his discovery: «It appears that we hit an Achilles heel of cancer, but statistics are not in favor of us,» as he says.