October 19, 2011
Turning Up The Heat To Kill Cancer Cells: The ‘Lance Armstrong Effect’
The "Lance Armstrong effect" could become a powerful new weapon to fight cancer cells that develop resistance to chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments, scientists say in a report in the ACS journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.
Robert Getzenberg and Donald Coffey explain that many advances have occurred in the 40 years since President Nixon declared a "War on Cancer" on December 23, 1971. However, cancer remains a leading cause of death worldwide, claiming almost 8 million lives annually. Patients with some forms of cancer respond well to treatment, while others have disease that becomes resistant to every known treatment. Patients with testicular cancer have a high survival rate – more than 70 percent – even if the cancer metastasizes, or spreads. For example, Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist, beat metastatic testicular cancer that spread to his lungs and brain, and then went on to win the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times. But patients with pancreatic cancer have only a 25 percent survival rate in the first year and a 6 percent survival rate by the fifth year after diagnosis. Why is this?
On the Net: