Positive and hopeful news comes to us from researchers in Denmark– news that can in fact revolutionize cancer care in the future. Danish researchers, together with Canadian colleagues from the University of British Columbia, have made a discovery that could save millions of lives. They may in fact have found the Holy Grail of medicine, that is, a cure for cancer. “We’ve found a way to hit all types of cancer. If this works, we will be able to offer treatment to people in areas where no treatment exists today,” Professor Ali Salanti from the University of Copenhagen told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).
The discovery came by chance. The researchers were looking for a cure for the so-called ‘pregnancy malaria’ which sits pregnant women’s placentas, and discovered that the malaria protein also sat on cancer cells.
This discovery led the researchers to study a toxin in a malaria, which they discovered could identify cancer cells — and then attack them.
“In this manner, malaria proteins act like a heat-seeking missile. It binded to the cancerous tissue, and then the toxic substance simply killed the cancer,” says Ali Salanti.
The researchers have since taken their hypothesis to animal tests with different types of cancer. And the results were unmistakeable.
“Our data from the last few years suggests that the treatment is effective against 95 percent of all cancers. So that is something that can have a very, very broad impact,” he told BBC News.
If successful, the research team plans to develop a cancer treatment that works on all people, and the treatment will not only be reserved for rich countries’ or wealthy citizens, promises Salanti.
“There are many big commercial interests when speaking about a potential general cure for cancer. But our goal is to make it here, so it will be a cheap product. That is our desire.”
He expects that scientists will be ready to test the new cancer drug on humans within the next four years.
If the treatment works, it will not only be able to cure almost all cancers. It will also be an effective vaccine against malaria – a disease that kills one child every minute.
The hope is that the treatment can be tested in humans within the next four years.
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