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Curing Cancer


Treatments and Cures  

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  1. 1. Are current treatments for cancer reliable?

  2. 2. Are we moving in the right direction for finding a cure?



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Based on what we know about cancer so far what can we use as real treatments for cancer/cancers? We know that a "crazed" cell does not get eliminated and begins to reproduce/spread among the area and in malignant cases infects tissue of an organ. We also know that better hygene/health habits such as eating and exercise can reduce your chances for this "crazed" cell from appearing in the first place. Other than our current western treatments lets try and see what we can produce outside of that to slow down, stop or prevent it from happening in the first place.

 

Here is the wikipedia link for more information.

 

Oh yes and other links to more information are much appreciated.

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"cancer" is an overarching term for a whole suite of cell replication malfunctions. As summed up well by PhD comics, what you're actually trying to do is find a million cures for a million disorders which fall under the general definition of what we call "cancer".

http://www.phdcomics...mics.php?f=1162

phd042009s.gif

 

That is indeed true that is what this thread is about. But OVERALL the causes of cancer are generally the same. (Without expertees in the subject)

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There are lots of "causes" too.

 

Indeed. As mentioned in the link given and i lightly brushed on that in the opening of the thread. What we want to do is

 

A. Plug these holes

B. Get rid of the water before it sinks the ship.

 

We want to accomplish one if not both of these goals without causing harm to the patient that is nearly just as deadly as the cancer itself. If it is possible do it in a way that will cause the patient no harm whatsoever to life after being cured. Or if not a cure after treatment.

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Some of the holes are part of our normal cellular processes. Plug them, we die. Getting rid of water would be.. hum.. getting rid of your body? I sense an analogy fail here somewhere.

 

Also accomplish these goals in an effective manner. If we just plugged the holes whatever it takes of course we would die. But the analogy is equal to this.

 

A. Prevent cancer from forming.

B. Destroy it before it kills the person.

 

And achieve these goals best possible. Maybe it is impossible to completely prevent cancer from forming. I do not have expertee's in the subject. But i already know chances can be lowered. But the goal is to do this in any form that works without hurting any of the goals i have listed above.

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Cheap and ubiquitous technologies for monitoring the body and identifying cancer in the earliest possible stages.

 

One scenario: Near-future technologies capable of routinely monitoring blood, urine, and other things in a completely non-invasive way and without the need for patient cooperation. I imagine a common personal gadget of the future that will monitor the general health of the user (heart, liver, neurology, and so on) and upload their real-time data to a cloud where it will periodically be examined by a computer system analogous to IBM Watson capable of identifying possible risks far beyond the capacity of a human doctor.

 

In this way cancer would be drastically reduced - perhaps virtually eliminated in prosperous societies - by early intervention and prevention. Basically perpetual screening combined with analysis of one's genome, history, etc. by an AI computer system. I'm hoping for something like this anyway. Oh, and then there would be an array of possible interventions much as is currently the case. The main difference is that cancer would never get off the ground. I imagine many, if not most, cancer deaths are related to timing of the diagnosis.

Edited by the asinine cretin
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That is indeed true that is what this thread is about. But OVERALL the causes of cancer are generally the same. (Without expertees in the subject)

 

 

My (and the comics) point is that no, they aren't. "Cancer" describes a myriad of cellular malfunctions, ranging from regulatory failure, replication failure, translation failures damaged DNA, etc and so on. There is no common "cause" and as such it is extremely likely that there is no common cure.

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My (and the comics) point is that no, they aren't. "Cancer" describes a myriad of cellular malfunctions, ranging from regulatory failure, replication failure, translation failures damaged DNA, etc and so on. There is no common "cause" and as such it is extremely likely that there is no common cure.

 

I said "causes" not cause, I am speaking for the common CAUSES. And those causes can be brought up from a million other things like radiation exposure, bad health habbits and many other things that can cause it to go wrong.

 

Cheap and ubiquitous technologies for monitoring the body and identifying cancer in the earliest possible stages.

 

One scenario: Near-future technologies capable of routinely monitoring blood, urine, and other things in a completely non-invasive way and without the need for patient cooperation. I imagine a common personal gadget of the future that will monitor the general health of the user (heart, liver, neurology, and so on) and upload their real-time data to a cloud where it will periodically be examined by a computer system analogous to IBM Watson capable of identifying possible risks far beyond the capacity of a human doctor.

 

In this way cancer would be drastically reduced - perhaps virtually eliminated in prosperous societies - by early intervention and prevention. Basically perpetual screening combined with analysis of one's genome, history, etc. by an AI computer system. I'm hoping for something like this anyway. Oh, and then there would be an array of possible interventions much as is currently the case. The main difference is that cancer would never get off the ground. I imagine many, if not most, cancer deaths are related to timing of the diagnosis.

 

Yeah that would be something cool to have sometime in the future. That one would be perhaps a little farther into the future. Lets continue flowing out our ideas.

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I said "causes" not cause, I am speaking for the common CAUSES. And those causes can be brought up from a million other things like radiation exposure, bad health habbits and many other things that can cause it to go wrong.

 

The point is separate manifestations of identically appearing, malignant, uncontrolled cell division (e.g. melanoma) can be caused by two completely unrelated cellular malfunctions. Exposure to the same trigger (e.g. UV radiation) can cause two, completely independent cellular malfunctions (e.g. regulatory malfunction vs nonsynonymous point mutation). While SYMPTOMS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symptom) for these two distinct, independent maladies may be identical and TREATMENT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy) may be the same, the CURE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cure) will be totally different.

 

I know you're openly stating you're not an expert which is fine - but in order to discuss cancer CURES I think you need to become aware of a few basic definitions and how disease prevention and treatment differ from curing said disease.

http://medical-dicti...ease+prevention

http://medical-dicti...y.com/treatment

http://medical-dicti...ionary.com/cure

 

and how they relate to how cancer works

 

lanes.png

 

So, back to my original point - when you're discussing a cure for cancer, you're actually talking about millions of cures for millions of different cell level malfunctions which ultimately result in uncontrolled cellular division. Whilst there may be common methods for preventing cancer or treating the symptoms of cancer and both of these are critically important in managing the disease they aren't curing it per se.

 

Now another set of definitions:

disease management: http://encyclopedia....nt+%28health%29

disease eradication: http://medical-dicti...com/eradication

 

Because cancer is a malfunction of your own body which can be caused by quite literally millions of environmental, genetic and combinations of environmental and genetic factors, it cannot be eradicated, vaccinated against or controlled in the same sense as a disease caused by a pathogen, like smallpox, influenza and polio. The chances of there being a "cancer free world" or expecting a universal cure are slim to none.

 

What we CAN improve and refine are the management and control of cancer. Many ailments which used to be lethal to humans have become trivial (at least in the developed world) due to effective management and treatment (http://medical-dicti...Disease+Control).

 

So my point is that rather than asking "How do we cure cancer?" and awaiting an extremely unlikely medical "silver bullet" miracle we should be asking "How do we better manage cancer with prevention, detection and treatment methods?"

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One could even argue that cancer is, in certain contexts, not even a malfunction per se. Early in our development all cells are multiplying with little restraint. Only somewhat later signal gradients are formed that result in a more refined control. It is not clear how these regulatory cascades kick in, and what may make them not kicking in. Cancer cells could revert back to earlier stages, possibly by certain unknown perturbations of their regulatory circuits, that may well be caused internally (i.e. without outside agents such as mutagens).

Maybe there is normal physiological change during aging that makes it occur more often, etc. etc.

You may live the healthiest life, and keep yourself away from viruses and so one, but the mere fact that you need to breathe, that your cells need to replicate, that tissue needs to be regenerated all has the inherent potential to result in something that we would classify as cancer.

From a research perspective my point of view is that we need a more fundamental knowledge of cell physiology and the underlying regulation. Much research nowadays bypasses that (IMO) critical point and just aim at nailing cancer. But then this is where the funds go to.

Edited by CharonY
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The point is separate manifestations of identically appearing, malignant, uncontrolled cell division (e.g. melanoma) can be caused by two completely unrelated cellular malfunctions. Exposure to the same trigger (e.g. UV radiation) can cause two, completely independent cellular malfunctions (e.g. regulatory malfunction vs nonsynonymous point mutation). While SYMPTOMS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symptom) for these two distinct, independent maladies may be identical and TREATMENT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy) may be the same, the CURE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cure) will be totally different.

 

I know you're openly stating you're not an expert which is fine - but in order to discuss cancer CURES I think you need to become aware of a few basic definitions and how disease prevention and treatment differ from curing said disease.

http://medical-dicti...ease+prevention

http://medical-dicti...y.com/treatment

http://medical-dicti...ionary.com/cure

 

and how they relate to how cancer works

 

lanes.png

 

So, back to my original point - when you're discussing a cure for cancer, you're actually talking about millions of cures for millions of different cell level malfunctions which ultimately result in uncontrolled cellular division. Whilst there may be common methods for preventing cancer or treating the symptoms of cancer and both of these are critically important in managing the disease they aren't curing it per se.

 

Now another set of definitions:

disease management: http://encyclopedia....nt+%28health%29

disease eradication: http://medical-dicti...com/eradication

 

Because cancer is a malfunction of your own body which can be caused by quite literally millions of environmental, genetic and combinations of environmental and genetic factors, it cannot be eradicated, vaccinated against or controlled in the same sense as a disease caused by a pathogen, like smallpox, influenza and polio. The chances of there being a "cancer free world" or expecting a universal cure are slim to none.

 

What we CAN improve and refine are the management and control of cancer. Many ailments which used to be lethal to humans have become trivial (at least in the developed world) due to effective management and treatment (http://medical-dicti...Disease+Control).

 

So my point is that rather than asking "How do we cure cancer?" and awaiting an extremely unlikely medical "silver bullet" miracle we should be asking "How do we better manage cancer with prevention, detection and treatment methods?"

 

I see, the purpose of this thread still remains the same though. Our ideas for curing/treating different types of cancers can be discussed here. As well as better and alternative treatments to the ones we currently have. I will get myself higher education on the subject so i can more accurately give my ideas. As should others.

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Apparently the development of cancer is very similar to embryonic development . I wonder if it is part of the cost of evolution. Perhaps if cells were never able to reproduce under uncontrolled conditions there would never have existed the possibility of controlled reproduction?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cancer-clues-from-embryos

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Apparently the development of cancer is very similar to embryonic development . I wonder if it is part of the cost of evolution. Perhaps if cells were never able to reproduce under uncontrolled conditions there would never have existed the possibility of controlled reproduction?

http://www.scientifi...es-from-embryos

 

According to what i know the evolution process proceeded because of natural selection. They change because they are forced to change their way of living in order to adapt to the enviorment. Or not to adapt to the enviorment but just because it lives in a specific enviorment. (i.e A popular theory is that apes lived in trees in certain areas but when grass arrived many of the tree's disappeared and the apes had to adapt to the new enviorment by learning to stand on its two back legs in order to hunt for food correctly. Over huge swats of time they begin to be born in that fashion.)

 

Or from a mutation in a species, And if this mutation is beneficial it is more likely that the mutated version will survive. When that mutated version survives it reproduces more. When that happens there are more offspring with the same beneficial mutation. They will then reproduce more than the kind it mutated from. So on and so on. After this happens a very very high amount of times you end up with something completely different.

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I think the suggestion may be that an offshoot of the evolutionary process, particularly the starting process and development of a foetus, is so similar to the staring process and development of a cancerous growth that perhaps the two have always co-existed. Perhaps the same process of evolution that allowed sexual reproduction allowed cancer to form? Perhaps formation of cancerous growths were random events before sexual reproduction and had some effect on the development of sexual reproduction?

Edited by Joatmon
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I liked this thread, but thought I might contribute my own thoughts because they were skimmed over, but not really talked about:

 

Firstly, we can readily treat some forms of cancer with high success rates with a combination or choice of surgery and medication (methotrexate, 5-flurouracil and tamoxifen come to mind)- yes these only work for specific cancers, but they do work effectively at curing the patient for these cancers (rather than just managing the patient).

 

Secondly, there is a lot of research into drugs targeting the processes that most cancers have in common (targeting the proliferation of cells, or the development of vascular system for example). Some of these drugs will simply stop growth, but some may work to reverse the process. So, whilst I agree there wont be a "silver bullet" it's highly likely that medicinal treatment of cancer will become much more effective in the future.

 

That said, prevention and improved treatment is necessary- but instinct tells me that the older you get the more inevitable cancer will become as the likeliness of genetic degradation increases so prevention probably has a limit.

Edited by Suxamethonium
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That said, prevention and improved treatment is necessary- but instinct tells me that the older you get the more inevitable cancer will become as the likeliness of genetic degradation increases so prevention probably has a limit.

Just as an aside, I once had a doctor tell me that everyone would die of cancer if they lived long enough.

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