The first lot of news in 2014, and it’s the usual melange of cancer breakthroughs which turn out not to be real breakthroughs because they only work on mice and rats. Or what seems to be a breakthrough really is a simplification and sensationalism on the part of the newspaper that published it.
Apologies for sounding so world-weary only days into the New Year, but the fact is, scientists keep coming up with “cures” which have only been tested on mice and rats and will only be commercially-available years down the road after they’ve been put the through pharmaceutical company hoops. After several months of putting together Best of Breast, I’ve become quite suspicious and now make sure I kick the tyres on any purported cancer “cure”.
After the previous three weeks’ of Best of Breast which were chockful of news from the San Antonio Breast Symposium 2013, the news has petered out. Maybe everyone (and the mice and ratz) has been too busy enjoying Christmas and New Year to publish their research findings!
I’m fed-up of seeing my friends suffer, and facing my fears at night – I want a cure, and I want it now for this terrible disease! It’s either that or let’s all become rats and mice!
[Fact: Mice and humans share 98% DNA. It takes changing only 2% of mice DNA to make a human being (if it were that easy). That’s why most experiments are conducted on mice.]
On a more positive note, I’m taking this opportunity to fill this week’s black hole, to re-post a piece of news first reported in Best of Breast (w/e 27 Dec 2013) on cancer immunotherapy being voted breakthrough of the year by Science magazine.
This is backed-up by an excellent summary in Business Australia of an increase in gene-based and immune-boosting therapies because the cost of gene sequencing is coming down. Great news! I believe this is the future of cancer treatments – magic bullets with targetted treatments, preferably getting the immune system to do the fighting with antibody treatments and vaccines.
There’s also an article on Bcl-2 protein expression, and my personal experience of using it as a marker.