Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Breakthrough In Cancer Research?

The human heart is not only a pump, delivering blood and oxygen to the body, but is also the source of many peptide hormones. The results from a recent study by Dr. David Vesely, professor at the University of South Florida, suggest that these hormones can be used to eliminate cancer in mice.

His research began on cardiac hormones by determining their role in treating congestive heart failure. But, after his wife's death from breast cancer in 2002, he decided to place the hormones into cancer cell cultures. Using prostate, breast, ovarian, and colon cancer cells, Vesely found that the hormones kill up to 97% of all the cancers in cell cultures within 24 hours.

With such impressive results, he took the natural step from a petri dish to an animal model: the mouse. He injected some mice with breast cancer cells and others with pancreatic cancer cells, then waited for the tumors to develop. After one month of hormonal treatment, cancer was eliminated from 80% of the mice injected with human pancreatic cancer and 66% of the mice injected with breast cancer.

None of the mice suffered any side effect. None of the mice died of cancer; all died of old age. The mice received no other form of treatment, such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. After the mice died, researchers found that the cancer had not spread.

"If the hormones act the same way in humans, cancer could become a chronic condition treatable with these hormones," Vesely said. A private biotechnology company is currently raising funding to commence human trials. Vesely will present his research at a symposium April 9 at the Experimental Biology 2008 conference in San Diego.

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