Curing cancer? The dichloroacetate story
A team led by Dr. Evangelos Michelakis at the University of Alberta in Canada have figured out a new use for a safe, cheap chemical already used in medicine for a host of metabolic disorders. This chemical is Dichloroacetate (DCA), and it turns cancer into an angsty, suicidal teenager… the drug must go through the laborious, sisyphic and prohibitively expensive (~ $800m) process of gaining FDA approval. In the case of a drug that needs to be tested on nearly every single type of cancer the process would run into the multiple billions.
This means that no pharmaceutical company is going to get this drug FDA approved, especially since it also makes some of their less effective patented drugs worthless. As a matter of fact, they’ll probably lobby against it with all their might.
But never forget about a possible post-reaction just like in this case as Respectful Insolence commented the story (without using a beta-blocker): Dichloroacetate: One last time… But he writes in the original article that:
So where do I put on my pharma shill hat? Patience, dear readers… This drug has only been tested in cell culture and rats. Yes, the results were promising there, but that does not–I repeat, does not– mean the results will translate to humans.
I’ll follow the reply posts on the subject and will let you know when something important happens.
Update from the comments:
Update of the update:
Update of September:
- Health Canada has approved the first human trial of an experimental cancer drug called dichloroacetate, or DCA, in people with an advanced form of an aggressive brain cancer.
Update of October:
- Dichloroacetate (DCA) Phase II Trial To Begin (Terra Sigillata)