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2007-12-13
 

The Cure for Cancer

cure for cancer

Cancer kills over half a million people per year in the U.S. and is the second most common cause of death. Many of these deaths could be prevented by not smoking. The popular concept that cancer is one disease is inaccurate. Cancer is the result of uncontrolled cellular replication caused by damage to the DNA of the cells. Toxic chemicals, such as those found in tobacco, can cause changes in the chemical structure of the cells. The body gets rid of damaged cells by a process called apoptosis which is a series of biochemical events that lead to disintegration of the cell and disposal of the cellular debris. Tumors develop when damaged cells are not destroyed and they continue to reproduce.

German biochemist Otto Warburg (winner of the 1931 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine) proposed that abnormal energy metabolism caused cancer. He showed that tumors have an acidic extracellular environment, and proposed that a switch from oxidative respiration to glycolysis, which produces lactic acid, starts the cell transformation toward cancer. Warburg's work stimulated interest in the possibility that there was some kind of link between pH and cancer, but it has taken seventy years to show this.

Recent research has identified cellular signaling pathways that become active under alkaline conditions. Dr. Rui Zhao and her colleagues have found that artificially increasing the intracellular pH removes amide functional groups from key cellular proteins (Bcl-xL) and result in apoptosis. This research raises hope that inducing alkalinization may prove an effective strategy to treat a range of cancers.[1]
Mechanism of Apoptosis

[1] Gross L (2007) Manipulating Cellular pH Suggests Novel Anticancer Therapy. PLoS Biol 5(1): e10


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