Novel Cure for Cancer?
nigel at njosborn.demon.co.uk
Thu Nov 16 17:04:03 EST 1995
Do you think this could be workable?
What we are trying to do if we want to kill cancer is to target rapidly
dividing cells. Often we use cytotoxic drugs eg. a modification of a
DNA base to target thymine. If we were to make thymine partially
radioactive, this would be incorporated into rapidly dividing cells
without killing them if the radiation level is low enough.
Now comes the difficult bit: is there a reaction that could be
initiated by ionizing radiation and would cascade to some extremely
toxic but short lived species that would destroy cells in its close
vicinity? Then all that it would be necessary to do would be to inject
the radioactive thymine into the patient, leave it a few hours for
incorporation and then inject the secondary chemical. It would then
target the cancer more effectively than external radiation ever could
and at the cellular level.
One problem I envisage is that certain types of radioactivity aren't
local: gamma radiation for instance is unlikely to even interact with
the mystery chemical "X". But both alpha and beta are quite local eg
13C doesn't go through 1 mm of plastic.
Yes there are a lot of unanswered questions in this letter: but it does
seem to be workable in theory if substance "X" can be identified.
Therein lies the problem!
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