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« Bill O’Reilly again fails to fault Barney Frank for destroying the economy | Main | More evidence Bill Ayers helped write Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams of My Father’ »

June 29, 2009



Scientists kill cancer cells with "trojan horse"

jj mollo

You don't think the Human Genome Project was large enough? Yes, it was done for more than one reason, but every cancer researcher in the world was waiting for those results.

The problem with cancer is the same as the problem with HIV. It's called evolution. The nasty critters are nasty because they reproduce without check, and they reproduce with mistakes. Most of the mistakes are debilitating, but not all. Every time we treat cancer or HIV we are eliminating only those replicators that are effected by the treatment. If there is a single cell or virus that survives the treatment, it will be the ancestor of a race of resistent survivors.

There are a lot of good ideas out there being tested. But even if these treatments survive the scrutiny and human testing, they will ultimately fail, and here's the reason why. Some people will be cured, and some won't. Most will merely have their lives extended a few years. People in general will live a little longer and get more kinds of cancer as they age, cancers for which the treatments don't work.

The problem is that all the low hanging fruit has been stripped off and the remaining problems are an order of magnitude more complex. There are fewer and fewer global approaches to cancer remaining that haven't been explored. The remaining approaches get more and more expensive. There are more and more kinds of cancer identified which have smaller and smaller constituencies.

Cardiac health care has been a tremendous success, so people live longer. They get cancer instead. Lifestyles are becoming less healthy, so people get more diseases. Until we really understand the inner workings of the cell and the mind, we are just treading water. Funders are not oblivious to these unfortunate limiting forces, so they don't pour a lot of money into any one thing until it shows a lot of promise.

cancer syndrome

It is important to note that some types of cancer do not present any symptoms until they are in advanced stages. This is why cancer screening and risk assessment are vital for cancer prevention and early detection.

liver cancer

The frequency of liver cancer in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is greater than 20 cases per 100,000 population. In contrast, the frequency of liver cancer in North America and Western Europe is much lower, less than five per 100,000 population. However, the frequency of liver cancer among native Alaskans is comparable to that seen in Southeast Asia. Moreover, recent data show that the frequency of liver cancer in the U.S. overall is rising. This increase is due primarily to chronic hepatitis C, an infection of the liver that causes liver cancer.

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