Cancer and its types
A disease that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth is termed as cancer. Depending on the type of the affected cells there are nearly 100 different types of cancers such as the breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer etc. Cancer that causes uncontrolled division of cells results in formation of large lumps that cause obstruction to the normal metabolic processes of the body such as the digestion, circulation.
Tumors can be benign tumors which remain at the same point or they can be malignant tumors that travel throughout the body with the help of circulatory system. Malignant tumors that cause death of healthy tissues result in the death of the person if left untreated. Earlier, there are not many promising methods to treat cancer. But, now we have chemotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy and other drugs to stop the growth of tumors. However, these methods are failing to treat tumors that have grown extensively and spread throughout the body.
Here is an overview of discoveries that are expected to treat even the metastasized cancers.
1. Dendritic Cell Therapy: Dendritic cells that are part of the immune system play role in presenting the antigen i.e. the foreign bodies on its surface for removal by the immune system by activating the T cells. They even play role in having the immune memory. The mature dendritic cells are being exploited in the treatment of cancer. Scientists made attempts to study the dendritic cells as adjuvants for vaccines, tumor lysates, peptides derived from tumor antigens and the MHC class I restricted whole proteins and the peptides. The dendritic cells were found to successfully show immune response against the cancer cells and ultimately their deterioration. These satisfactory preclinical studies encouraged scientists at various cancer institutions to undertake human clinical trials. Currently the success rate is only 20% and efforts are being made to identify better antigens that could promote the lysis of cancer cells.
2. Blocking rogue gene WWP2 to regulate cancer: British scientists while studying the natural cancer cell inhibitors the Smads identified that blocking the WWP2 gene through specific drugs can stop the growth of cancer cells. Attempts are being made to discover that wonder drug and it can be made possible only through thorough study of the biological process of the body and the changes that take place with the advent of the cancer. This novel discovery in the treatment of cancer is considered to have greater potential in treating cancer.
3. Colloidal silver in cancer treatment: One of the scientists at Independent cancer research foundation claims that treatment of the cancer cells using the DMSO and colloidal silver duo would revert cancer cells to their healthy status within 24 hours of treatment. This therapy is also named as the “overnight cancer cure”. DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide that is generated as a by-product of wood industry has the wonderful ability to penetrate through anything and dissolve anything. This is totally safe to use and when injected into the body it can reach any part that is hidden deep in the body and also penetrates the cell membrane very easily to enter the cell. Now coming to the colloidal silver it has the wonderful ability to kill the microbes but cannot penetrate the cells. Thus, use of DMSO that easily penetrates the cells and colloidal silver that can kill the microbes is being considered as wonderful cancer treatment to kill the cancer causing microorganisms. DMSO can easily carry the colloidal silver and not only treat the cancer cells but also turns them to normal healthy cells.
4. Cigar smoking as a cure for cancer: Yes it sounds very bizarre but Indonesian clinic claims that smoking cigarettes helps to treat cancer. They say that by altering the mercury in tobacco can treat diseases such as cancer. However, this way of treating cancer has not been undergone clinical trials, and we advise you not to smoke because it’s a fact that it does more harm to your health.
5. Engineered T-Cells to treat cancer: Scientists at University of California identified stem cells that could be engineered to produce T-Cells that can attack the cancer cells. These altered T-cells are said to offer relief to the patients suffering with melanoma. The altered T-cells remain dormant when there is no triggering agent i.e. cells with melanoma causing antigen. The only drawback is that the engineered T-cells are not functioning for a long term. Studies are being carried out to keep them active for long time. Efforts are being made to modify stem cells so as to produce the engineered T-cells to fight other types of cancer such as the breast cancer.
6. Use of Virus in cancer cure: Scientists at identified a virus that could kill only the virus cells without harming the normal cells. Scientists say that the virus AAV2 when injected into the body sits wherever it is and does no harm and sometimes it may not even replicate. It needs a helper virus and it is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that is considered to cause cervical cancer. When the AAV2 virus comes in contact with the helper HPV virus it alters its properties and prevents it from causing the cancer. This virus is found to show promising results in mice. However, further study of the virus is essential to carryout human trials.
7. Scorpion venom to treat cancer: Cancer patients in Cuba try the concoction made from the venom of the scorpion Rhopalurus Junceus. Many of them believe that this venom reduces the cancer or at least reduces the pain and prevents the further growth of the tumor. Though this concoction is being used by humans, the active agent in it is yet to be determined. It is believed that certain peptides in this scorpion venom prevent the growth of the tumor. If the active agent is discovered then it can be synthesized in bulk amounts and distributed across the world.
As mentioned, all these discoveries need further effort and let’s hope that at least one of them would give fruitful results so as to improve the lifespan of cancer patients.