Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Method Of Treating Cancers Gives Hope For Millions.

Using a patented laboratory device, Chinese scientists have for the first time grown cancer tumors outside the body which they say will lead to a new generation of cancer treatments.

Liu Hua, visiting professor with Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai,says scientists have for years been able to grow cancer cells in lab but have never been able to reproduce a living cancer tumor.

Liu called the breakthrough a milestone in cancer research that will lead to the development of a new generation of cancer treatments using biological medicines that have virtually no side effects. Someday it may help scientists develop actual cancer vaccines.

Liu has been asked to deliver a paper to the American Association of Cancer Researchers in Los Angles in mid-April. "I expect the paper will generate a lot of positive and interesting reaction," said Liu.

The doctor of internal medicine says he has shown tumor he has grown to scientists in Beijing and Shanghai. "They are very excited about it. Some have worked 30 or 40 years and have never seen a tumor outside the body. They agree it's a milestone in cancer research."

Liu says drug companies and researchers often find the treatments they develop using a simple culture of cancer cells, don't work well on the tumor itself, which are awkward to test on patients or lab animals that have been cancer induced.

Now they will be able to work with a complete, three dimensional tumor and examine how it reacts, metastasize or grows when treated in different ways. "Compared with conventional breeding systems we can continuously observe the behavior of a tumor. It is difficult to observe metastasis in a patient," Liu said.

Liu says working with an actual cancer tumor will make it possible to design patient-specific treatment regimens that are far less toxic than conventional treatments such a chemotherapy. (Xinhua)

***** This is one breakthrough which will be greatly awaited by the medical community. It gives hope to those who have been ravaged by these deadly cancers. Of course there have been many miracle and wonder drugs in the past which have miserably failed. It is earnestly wished that this new generation of treatment works and aids in easing the pain as well as progress of the disease.

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