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    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2011 edited
    EDIT: Apparently this is from 2007. I neglected to check the date the first time. My bad. Feel free to kill the thread if that warrants it.

    That said, trials are proceeding, but slowly due to small patient pools, due to lack of funding from Big Pharma. Details on that can be found here.


    Snippets from the article:

    "Canadian researchers find a simple cure for cancer, but major pharmaceutical companies are not interested."

    "This drug doesn’t require a patent, so anyone can employ it widely and cheaply compared to the costly cancer drugs produced by major pharmaceutical companies."

    "Pharmaceutical companies are not investing in this research because DCA method cannot be patented, without a patent they can’t make money, like they are doing now with their AIDS Patent."

    Article here.

    While I'm not prone to being a hardcore conspiracy theorist or such, this doesn't surprise me about pharmaceutical companies, nor would it surprise me if there are other cures out there that they know of but aren't offering. The math is very simple:

    A cure pays out once, whereas a treatment pays out continuously.

    As a business, that wants to make a profit, they're going to do whatever they best feel will reap the greatest profit for them. So unless curing something will garner them greater profit in some foreseeable capacity (whether outright, via contract, or whatever other means), or not curing something will do them more fiscal and/or PR damage than is worth not doing so, they're not likely to pursue it.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2011
    Yeah, no one took notice because it's apparently crap according to all of my friends with any kind of biology degree.
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why this article is making the rounds now. I saw it pop up in a few other contexts today, and though there has been some progress related to this recently, the article itself is dated and incorrect in many circumstances.

    The comments make for an amusing read, though, I'll give it that.
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
    Copypasting my from my tumblr:
    Just to put a stop to this right now, THEY HAVEN’T CURED CANCER.

    In limited trials, dichloroacetate seems effective in reducing the size of tumors. This is good. This has also not been reliably reproduced in larger animal testing groups. This is also nowhere near the human testing stage. Dichloroacetate may become an accepted part of the cancer treatment regimine once testing is completed, it’s found to be reliably effective if all populations and without serious side effects, but that does not make it a cure now. White-coat makes the point that when we charge headlong into widespread use of a medication without understanding the side effects, we end up with a lot of potential for bad times all round; see Thalidomide.

    This research is good. It’s a step along the way to a cure. Is it that cure? No. Now if we could all calm down and stop trying to paint medical companies as the new great satan, that’d be grand.
  1.  (9866.5)
    When I caught the date on the article (posted by a friend yesterday, given the making of the rounds mentioned above), I realized the article wasn't "news" at this point, despite being something that never really popped up anywhere that I saw at the time that it came out. Were the option there to kill the thread myself, given no replies at at point, I would have. However, since it wasn't there, I didn't see a reason to delete the content of the original post, and added the secondary link with the bit of info about the trials as well. As I'm not a scientist, let alone a scientist who's studied it, I'm obviously unable to give an informed (or even a sound speculative) assertion on how it works.

    That said, either way, it still makes for a good discussion topic.

    Now if we could all calm down and stop trying to paint medical companies as the new great satan, that’d be grand.

    Eh. I don't view them as "the new great satan" any more than any other corporation. However, as I pointed out, they're a business. Ultimately, given the option to make the choice, they're highly unlikely to pursue a one-time customer solution (even if/when they have one) when there's a potential repeat customer solution on the table. Does that make them evil? No. It's no more evil than McDonald's and other companies using "Pink Slime" (YouTube link) here in the U.S. However, like the "Pink Slime", it's not in the best interest of the customer, either.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
    There's quite a big business based around 'natural' remedies, food supplements and the like. I believe Europe has recently tightened up the regulations on what can and cannot be sold and the claims that can be made about it. Still i don't think the supplements and natural remedies industry is quite as tightly regulated as the pharmaceutical industry. That's not to say one is any better or worse than the other, i'm sure there are good examples of altruism on both sides. The one thing that they both have in common is a desire to separate you from your money. That may have something to do with the recent resurfacing of this article on a chemical which may have some effect in reducing some tumours and may also possibly be carcinogenic itself. That's capitalism for you, a system where the ruthless and unprincipled prosper and the strong live off the weak. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative at the moment.

    And don't get me started on mechanically recovered meat!
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
    You know you should take a claim (miracle cures, free energy schemes, financial instruments) with a grain of salt when proponents spend more time talking about the opposition's nefarious motives than about the actual merits of the product or process.

    Many years ago, I skimmed through most of the hundred and fifty year run of Scientific American. It started as an advertising-heavy newspaper, then became a magazine along the lines of Popular Science before becoming respectable in the post-WWII years. I bring this up because during two times in the 1800s, there was a fracas over "cold steam." In both incidents, entrepreneurs toured around the country trying to get people to invest in their program to commercialize a steam engine that didn't require coal or wood. Paraphrasing: "An engine's pistons are driven by steam. Steam is water vapor. You can make water vapor by boiling water, or through mechanical action. The greedy coal barons don't want this to be known and will fight tooth and nail to keep our invention under wraps!"
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011


    And then I remind them that fuckers who prey on the gullible by selling "health/life-improving" magnet/silver/copper bracelets need to be ridden on a rail out of town like the snake oil salesman they are.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeMay 14th 2011
    Remarkably effective stuff, snake oil, known to bring great wealth, power and influence.

    If you're selling of course, not buying.
  2.  (9866.10)
    A cure pays out once, whereas a treatment pays out continuously.

    This is a tired and pathetic lie dragged out again and again by ignorant op-ed writers and conspiracy theorists. It only takes a tiny bit of critical thinking to see it as bullshit.

    First, treatment drugs do not pay out continuously. They only pay out until the patents expire, at which time generic drug makers will either sell the product at a much lower cost or the maker has to pay them to not make it at a much lower cost. And because of the way drug patents work a drug patent may last less than a decade after its initial release. A cure for any common cancer, AIDS, etc. will likely pay off just as well as a treatment drug simply for logistical reasons; the time required to distribute it worldwide is unlikely to be any shorter than the lifespan of said drug's patent.

    Second, the global economy also makes some cures more profitable than treatments. Most of the people on Earth are still poor menial laborers who can neither afford continuous treatment or tolerate the side effects and work to earn a living. This is why we don't just supply anti-malaria drugs to the entirety of the third world. But for these billions of people a one-time cure may be an option; thus a cure can represent a profitable market that does not even exist to the makers of continuous treatments.

    Third, even a one-time payout of billions of dollars is still worth having. Pharma companies do not exist in some weird bubble where executives do not receive performance bonuses and only think of profitability in long-tail perspective. Bumping profits for just a few years with a cure for cancer or HIV would result in every executive involved being able to buy a few private islands big enough to land a private plane on. This is why, despite claims to the contrary, pharma researchers around the world are working on, and have run (failed) trials of HIV vaccines.