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Old 11-29-2004, 03:52 AM
KirkVining's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,303
Major discovery reported in search for cancer cure

Maybe all of you trying to quit smoking can puff a little easier:

Danish Researchers Find Enzyme 'key' to stopping cancer
Tests were carried out on genetically-modified mice

Blocking a specific enzyme could be enough to check the spread of cancer in the human body, researchers say. Researchers believe their work may lead to new life-saving cancer treatments and help cut the amount of chemotherapy required to treat cancer effectively. The spread of cancer was blocked in six out of seven mice bred to not have the enzyme urokinase plasminogen activator, and the mice did not suffer without it. The study, by Copenhagen University, is in the International Journal of Cancer.

Cancer cannot spread unless uPA is present, but the body does not need the enzyme to function normally. This was confirmed by the latest research, which showed mice genetically modified to lack uPA did not suffer in any way from not having the enzyme. Researcher Dr Morten Johnsen said: "This means that we should be able to block the enzyme and thereby check the spread of the cancer without causing the strong side-effects for the patients that we see with other forms of therapy today." The next step is to develop a medication that works on mice. Only then will testing the medication on humans be considered.

Dr Torben Skovsgaard, a cancer specialist at Copenhagen's KAS Herlev Hospital, said the research looked "very promising". He said: "If the clinical trials also show that it is possible to halt the spread of the tumour, then the research team has found the key to stopping the spread of cancer in the body, which is the cause of most of the deaths among cancer patients today."

Caution urged

Kate Law, head of clinical trials at Cancer Research UK, said: "It is true that death from cancer is largely a result of the cancer spreading from the original site to other parts of the body.

"Any therapy that prevented this spread would be a major step forward in the treatment of cancer.

"Long experience should, however, make us cautious in using encouraging laboratory research to begin talking about patient benefit.

"It takes many years for any finding in the laboratory to translate into patient benefit and results in the past have often been disappointing."

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Old 11-29-2004, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hells half acre (Great Falls, Virginia)
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Yeah.....they have one of those "breakthroughs" every few months...........None ever pans out however. I think Cancer is going to be the scourge of mankind for a very long time in the future.

But we can always hope.
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"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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Old 11-29-2004, 04:04 PM
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Mice all over the world are rejoicing . . . again.
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:15 PM
jjl jjl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 695
bhd is right. 'Breakthroughs' in cancer research are made with monotonous regularity. They are, typically, BS. The researchers involved have a very strong vested interest in talking up their dodgy results in order to gain prestige and money. Ask me how I wife is a molecular biologist.

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