Cheap, ‘safe’ drug kills most cancers

New Scientist quickly backpedaled on this story in an attempt to minimize the efficacy of the unpatented chemical DCA (see Update). -Ed.

New Scientist, Mar. 29, 2012

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells.
Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

Update: Cancer drug resurfaces and threatens false optimism
Metabolic Modulation of Glioblastoma with Dichloroacetate