While it’s completely absurd to say that the medical community is holding back the cure for cancer, it’s completely true that until now it was thought impossible. This wasn’t because of a lack of technology, or because of incompetence on the medical community’s part, but because of what cancer really is.
In order to be able to completely cure a disease, its different forms have to have something in common – a feature completely missing in cancerous tumors. Instead of being a single disease, cancer is generally viewed as a whole array of diseases, each infecting a different body part; thus, all the classifications.
However, in a recent study, scientists discovered the “Achilles’ heel” of all cancers. This was found as a biological “flag” in the form of a surface protein. And as far as the scientists that discovered it know so far, pretty much all cancer forms share those proteins.
By analyzing the genetic makeups of several forms of lung and skin cancers, the team led by Charles Swanton from the Francis Crick Institute in London discovered that even if tumors manage to grow and metastasize, they still carry the same specific surface proteins specific to just cancer cells.
Further studies into the matter revealed that the immune system is already conscious about the presence of the proteins, but it’s just not enough to stop them. This is because of one of two reasons – either the immune system is too weak to destroy the cancerous cells or the cancer cells have too strong a defense mechanism.
Still, according to the lead researcher on the subject,
What we’ve found for the first time is that tumors essentially sow the seeds of their own destruction.
This is because now that a protein was found to be shared by all cancer forms, regardless if spread throughout the body or not, scientists can start working on ways to target those exact proteins in order to get rid of the disease.
So far, there are two theoretical treatments to be developed based on these most recent of discoveries. Both have their own merits and flaws, and they both are still in development. However, with further investigations on the matter, we might actually get a cure for cancer than can get rid of it regardless of the state in which it is.
The first treatment would be the development of a vaccine. By using the protein flags, medical experts can develop a vaccine that would trigger the immune system to attack the cancerous cells, killing them. This is pretty much a regular vaccine, but experts still have to work on ways to help the immune system take down the cancerous invaders.
The second option would be to get a biopsy sample from the tumor and then to study its genome. Looking for the malignant flags in each particular cancer form, the researchers can then detect the immune cells that can fight the tumors. By multiplying these cells and injecting them back into the patient, an attack response similar to the one in the other option would take place.
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