For more than a century, humans have been searching for a cure for cancer. Problem is, many different diseases are labeled as “cancer.” It’s a cell mutation that goes amok sometimes spreading throughout the body.
We have dealt a blow to some cancers like child leukemia, skin cancer and more modest success with breast cancer. Statistics show certain therapies as “cures” but earlier detection skews the results.
Renovating Your Mind gets so frustrated when research abuses numbers (statistics) to summarize a cure rather than truthfully concluding only a remission.
Since President Nixon’s war on cancer started in the early 70’s, billions of dollars have been spent trying to defeat these deadly opponents to a healthy life. Researchers have found that some cancers may be linked by similar mutations in the biology of the DNA (genes) rather than always locational. That may target specific fixes with genetic therapy in the near future. The question is how can we deal better with what we know today about cancer.
Scientists have changed focus on dealing with the Big C. It all started in the battle against AIDS. Mankind couldn’t beat the disease so we worked on being able to live with the virus.
Forcing Statistics To Mislead
Something similar is occurring in the fight with cancer. We are outfitting the immune system with a new set of “glasses” to see the problem. Our immunity can now recognize, what was previously invisible. It then is able to participate in the process to have these cells terminated called apoptosis.
Scientists do the same thing with the Hubble Space Telescope. This device was given the ability to not only see visible light (like us) but also ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light. Both UV and IR are invisible to our eyes.
In the case of the immune-targeted cancer treatment, the immune system is blinded to the cancer until given the appropriate chemical signal from man to see the enemy. Once detected, it is then targeted for destruction and elimination by the immune system.
Chemistry is enabling our defense mechanisms to see through the stealth outfit that cancer cells wear, to avoid us from being terminated by the disease. This seem to work more effectively when using more than one type of “glasses”. If you hit the cancer cells from different sites there is a better chance of success. The malignant cell has less of a chance of surviving three different punches from various angles than just one punch.
This new therapy is showing positive results with melanoma. Melanoma is a skin cancer that involve cells that secrete the pigment (melanin) that gives us a “tan”. Other ongoing research is giving optimism for other types of cancers. These include kidney, lung, head, neck, ovarian and colon cancer. Hopefully, the future will also include breast and prostate carcinomas.
Older therapies like radiation and chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with this immuno-targeted therapy.
Science needs to keep pursuing an understanding of basic biology to find more ways to undo the genetic mutations that ultimately lead to various cancers. Until then, the best case scenario is keeping the disease in check. The goal is living a normal life and treating cancer like any other chronic ailment. This therapy, gives the immune system heads up on cancerous processes.
God willing, 57 trillion (57,000,000,000,000) cells that make up the human body can work together peacefully for about 75 years. Here is wishing that 535 members that make up Congress could work together peacefully to make a better America for just 2 years at a time. Cells that compose of all of their bodies ask for nothing less.
Photo credit: Thanks to Biology 11 Microscopic World Online Resource for colored illustration of the human cell. http://www.deltasd.bc.ca