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Encyclopedia > Experimental cancer treatment

Experimental cancer treatments are medical therapies intended or claimed to treat cancer (see also tumor) by improving on, supplementing or replacing conventional methods (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy). medicines, see medication and pharmacology. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ... Tumor or tumour literally means swelling, and is sometimes still used with that meaning. ... A cardiothoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve replacement at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. ... Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to treat disease. ... Clinac 2100 C100 accelerator Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ... Immunotherapy is a form of medical treatment based upon the concept of modulating the immune system to achieve a therapeutic goal. ...


The entries listed below vary between theoretical therapies to unproven controversial therapies. Many of these treatments are alleged to only help against specific forms of cancer. It is not a list of treatments widely available at hospitals.

Contents

Angiostatic-based treatments

Every solid tumor (in contrast to liquid tumors like leukemia) needs to generate blood vessels to keep it alive once it reaches a certain size. Usually, blood vessels are not built elsewhere in an adult body unless tissue repair is actively in process. The anti-angiogenesis (angiostatic) agent endostatin and related chemicals can suppress the building of blood vessels, preventing the cancer from growing indefinitely. In tests with patients, the tumor became inactive and stayed that way even after the endostatin treatment was finished. The treatment has very few side effects but appears to have very limited selectivity. Other angiostatic agents like thalidomide and natural plant-based substances are being actively investigated. Tumor or tumour literally means swelling, and is sometimes still used with that meaning. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... f you all The blood vessels are part of the circulatory system and function to transport blood throughout the body. ... Angiogenesis is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. ... An endostatin is a naturally-occurring chemical in the human body that serves as an anti-angiogenesis agent. ... // Thalidomide is a sedative, hypnotic, and anti-inflammatory medication. ...


Dichloroacetate (DCA) Treatment

Cancer cells generally use glycolysis rather than oxidation for energy (the Warburg effect), as a result of hypoxia in tumors and damaged mitochondria.[1] The body often kills damaged cells by apoptosis, a mechanism of self-destruction that involves mitochondria, but this mechanism fails in cancer cells. R-phrases , S-phrases , , , Related Compounds Related chloroacetic acids Chloroacetic acid Trichloroacetic acid Related compounds Acetic acid Difluoroacetic acid Dibromoacetic acid Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Dichloroacetic acid (systematic name dichloroethanoic acid, also... Glycolysis is a metabolic pathway by which a 6-carbon glucose (Glc) molecule is oxidized to two molecules of pyruvic acid (Pyr). ... The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... The Warburg effect is the inhibition of carbon dioxide fixation, and subsequently photosynthesis, by high oxygen concentrations. ... In medicine, ischemia (Greek ισχαιμία, isch- is restriction, hema or haema is blood) is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue. ... Tumor or tumour literally means swelling, and is sometimes still used with that meaning. ... A cell undergoing apoptosis. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...


A study published in January 2007 by researchers at the University of Alberta,[2] testing DCA on in vitro cancer cell lines and a rat model, found that DCA restored mitochondrial function, thus restoring apoptosis, killing cancer cells in vitro, and shrinking the tumors in the rats.[3] The University of Alberta (U of A) is a public coeducational research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ... Wiktionary has a definition of: In vitro In vitro (Latin: within glass) means within a test tube, or, more generally, outside a living organism or cell. ...


Bacterial treatments

Chemotherapeutic drugs have a hard time penetrating tumors to kill them at their core because these cells may lack a good blood supply. Researchers have been using anaerobic bacteria, such as Clostridium novyi, to consume the interior of oxygen-poor tumours. These should then die when they come in contact with the tumour's oxygenated sides, meaning they would be harmless to the rest of the body. A major problem has been that bacteria don't consume all parts of the malignant tissue. However combining the therapy with chemotheraputic treatments can help to solve this problem. Another strategy is to use anaerobic bacteria that have been transformed with an enzyme that can convert a non-toxic prodrug into a toxic drug. With the proliferation of the bacteria in the necrotic and hypoxic areas of the tumour the enzyme is expressed solely in the tumour. Thus a systemically applied prodrug is metabolised to the toxic drug only in the tumour. This has been demonstrated to be effective with the non pathogenic anaerobe Clostridium sporogenes. Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to treat disease. ... It has been suggested that Blockbuster drug be merged into this article or section. ... Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria can be identified by growning them in liquid culture: 1: Obligate aerobic bacteria gather at the top of the test tube in order to absorb maximal amount of oxygen. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... A prodrug is a pharmacological substance (drug) which is administered in an inactive (or significantly less active) form. ... Necrosis (in Greek Νεκρός = Death) is the name given to accidental death of cells and living tissue. ... Hypoxia is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalised hypoxia) or region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. ...


Gene therapy

Introduction of tumor suppressor genes into rapidly dividing cells has been thought to slow down or arrest tumor growth. Another use of gene therapy is the introduction of enzymes into these cells that make them susceptible to particular chemotherapy agents; studies with introducing thymidine kinase in gliomas, making them susceptible to aciclovir, are in their experimental stage. Gene therapy is the insertion of genes into an individuals cells and tissues to treat a disease, and hereditary diseases in which a defective mutant allele is replaced with a functional one. ... A tumor suppressor gene is a gene that reduces the probability that a cell in a multicellular organism will turn into a tumor cell. ... Ribbon diagram of the enzyme TIM, surrounded by the space-filling model of the protein. ... Thymidine kinase TK, is an enzyme, a phosphotransferase (a kinase): 2-deoxythymidine kinase, ATP-thymidine 5-phosphotransferase, {{{EC 2. ... A glioma is a type of primary central nervous system (CNS) tumor that arises from glial cells. ... Aciclovir (INN) (IPA: ) or acyclovir (USAN, former BAN) is a guanine analogue antiviral drug primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infection. ...


Telomerase therapy

Because most malignant cells rely on the activity of the protein telomerase for their immortality, it has been proposed that a drug which inactivates telomerase might be effective against a broad spectrum of malignancies. At the same time, most healthy tissues in the body express little if any telomerase, and would function normally in its absence. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds specific DNA sequence repeats (TTAGGG in all vertebrates) to the 3 (three prime) end of DNA strands in the telomere regions, which are found at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes. ...

A number of research groups have experimented with the use of telomerase inhibitors in animal models, and as of 2005 and 2006 phase I and II human clinical trials are underway. Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, is currently conducting two clinical trials involving telomerase inhibitors. One uses a vaccine (GRNVAC1) and the other uses a lipidated drug (GRN163L). Geron is by far the largest patent holder in teleomerase technology, with 104 US patents and 133 foreign patents.Geron Image File history File links Information. ... Shortcut: WP:WIN Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, also an online community. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOV Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view. ... Shortcut: WP:RULES Wikipedia is a collaborative project and its founders and contributors have a common goal: Wikipedia has some policies and guidelines that help us to work toward that common goal. ... Animal model refers to a non-human animal with a disease that is similar to a human condition. ... In medicine, a clinical trial (synonyms: clinical studies, research protocols, medical research) is the application of the scientific method to human health. ...


Thermotherapy

Localized application of heat has been proposed as a technique for the treatment of malignant tumours. Intense heating will cause denaturation and coagulation of cellular proteins, rapidly killing cells within a tumour. Thermotherapy, or therapy by induced hyperthermia, may be used as a cancer treatment to kill or weaken tumor cells, with negligible effects on healthy cells. ... Irreversible egg protein denaturation and loss of solubility, caused by the high temperature (while cooking it) In biochemistry, denaturation is a structural change in biomolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins, such that they are no longer in their native state, and their shape which allows for optimal activity. ... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hook from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell. POOP Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green). ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ...


More prolonged moderate heating to temperatures just a few degrees above normal can cause more subtle changes. A mild heat treatment combined with other stresses can cause cell death by apoptosis. There are many biochemical consequences to the heat shock response within in cell, including slowed cell division and increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation therapy. A cell undergoing apoptosis. ... Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a group of proteins whose expression is increased when the cells are exposed to elevated temperatures. ... Clinac 2100 C100 accelerator Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells (not to be confused with radiology, the use of radiation in medical imaging and diagnosis). ...


There are many techniques by which heat may be delivered. Some of the most common involve the use of focused ultrasound (FUS or HIFU), microwave heating, induction heating, or direct application of heat through the use of heated saline pumped through catheters. Experiments have been done with carbon nanotubes that selectively bind to cancer cells. Lasers are then used that pass harmlessly through the body, but heat the nanotubes, causing the death of the cancer cells. Similar results have also been achieved with other types of nanoparticles including gold-coated nanoshells and nanorods which exhibit certain degrees of 'tunability' of the absorption properties of the nanoparticles to the wavelength of light for irradiation. The success of this approach to cancer treatment rests on the existence of an 'optical window' in which biological tissue (i.e,. healthy cells) are completely transparent at the wavelength of the laser light while nanoparticles are highly absorbing at the same wavelength. Such a 'window' exists in the so-called near infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this way, the laser light can pass through the system without harming healthy tissue and only diseased cells, where the nanoparticles reside, get hot and are killed. Ultrasound is a form of cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing, this limit being approximately 20 kilohertz (20,000 hertz). ... HIFU, or high intensity focused ultrasound, also referred to as Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS), is a term used describe a minimally or non-invasive method to deposit acoustic energy into tissue. ... Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths longer than those of terahertz (THz) frequencies, but relatively short for radio waves. ... Electromagnetic induction is the production of an electrical potential difference (or voltage) across a conductor situated in a changing magnetic flux. ...


One of the challenges in thermal therapy is delivering the appropriate amount of heat to the correct part of the patient's body. A great deal of current research focuses on precisely positioning heat delivery devices (catheters, microwave and ultrasound applicators, etc.) using ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging, as well as of developing new types of nanoparticles that make them particularly efficient absorbers while offering little or no concerns about toxicity to the circulation system. Clinicians also hope to use advanced imaging techniques to monitor heat treatments in real time—heat-induced changes in tissue are sometimes perceptible using these imaging instruments. Magnetic Resonance Image showing a median sagittal cross section through a human head. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ...


Complementary and alternative cancer treatment

See main article: Complementary and alternative medicine It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Alternative medicine. ...


In the year 2000, the American Cancer Society published American Cancer Society's Guide to Complementary and Alternative Cancer Methods. There are over 200 substances and therapies in this book, and while there is a varying degree of success with each of the methods, it appears that some of the techniques will work at times, however no technique will work in all situations, which, practitioners claim, is similar to the success rate of conventional techniques. Many of these treatments are similar to ancient ways of dealing with disease. According to practitioners of such techniques, various options are available to anyone who wants this information, however, they caution that discretion is advised no matter what methods a person chooses to pursue. 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a medical organization with a corporate attitude in the United States. ...


Controversial therapies

Diet therapy

In the late 1940s, German-born physician Dr. Max Gerson proposed a therapy claimed to be successful in the treatment of advanced cancer, normalizing metabolism and helping the body's immune system act on cancer cells. It is a high potassium, low sodium (saltless) diet, with no fats or oils, and high in fresh raw fruits and vegetables and their juices. (See for instance the lecture [1], and the book A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases, by Max Gerson, M.D.) (ISBN 0-9611526-2-1). Other scientists give credence to published accounts of such treatments to suppress the growth rate of cancer, despite general disagreement on the underlying mechanisms: http://www.krysalis.net/cancer4.htm Max Gerson (18 October 1881 - 8 March 1959) was the developer of the Gerson therapy, an alternative therapy for cancer and most chronic, degenerative diseases. ... A scanning electron microscope image of a single neutrophil (yellow), engulfing anthrax bacteria (orange). ... The Gerson diet is a diet devised by Dr. Max Gerson (1881 - 1959). ...


As with Max Gerson, Johanna Budwig proposed another diet therapy claimed to treat cancer. Most oncologists have a belief that a diet alone cannot treat cancer. Reports of dramatic remissions as a result of the Budwig diet are anecdotal, and not supported by peer-reviewed research. (On the other hand, her diet is good from a nutritional point of view to counteract some side-effects of other treatments.) Some basic research on flax oil (preferred by Budwig) is available: [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a process of subjecting an authors scholarly work or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the field. ...


Insulin potentiation therapy

In insulin potentiation therapy (IPT), insulin is given in conjunction with low-dose chemotherapy. Its proponents claim insulin therapy increases the uptake of chemotherapeutic drugs by malignant cells, permitting the use of lower total drug doses and reducing side effects. Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) is an alternative medicine therapy that uses FDA approved cancer fighting drugs in lower doses. ... Insulin (from Latin insula, island, as it is produced in the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas) is a polypeptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism. ...


Some In vitro studies have demonstrated the principle of IPT [7][8] .


The first clinical trial of IPT for treating breast cancer was done in Uruguay and published in 2003/2004. Insulin combined with low-dose methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) resulted in greatly increased stable disease, and much reduced progressive disease, compared with insulin or low-dose methotrexate alone. Although the study was very small (30 women, 10 per group), the results appear to be very promising. [9]


External links

  • Articles on Cancer
  • Dichloroacetate (DCA) Research
  • Nature Reviews Cancer website
  • Audio-video Physician Interviews on Cancer Treatment Breakthroughs
  • "Questionable Cancer Therapies"

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cancer Treatment Involving Experimental Gene Therapy (987 words)
Cancer cells require three genetically controlled components for survival and growth: 1) cancer cells have an abnormally rapid growth rate, 2) cancer cells do not die when the body tells them to and 3) cancer cells resist removal by the body’s immune system.
Gene therapy for the treatment of cancer tries to correct the growth rate, the death rate or make the immune system kill cancer cells.
In conclusion, gene therapy approaches to the treatment of cancer are investigational, but thus far, appear to be well tolerated and promise to be effective for some cancers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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