Potential treatment for terminal cancer
For the first time, researchers have discovered a therapy that can treat the invariably lethal terminal stages of cancer in animals. The new monoclonal antibody is effective in mice against colon and breast cancers and melanoma and does not appear to have any toxic effects.
Currently, the end stages of metastatic cancer - secondary cancers that have already spread to other parts of the body from original locations - are untreatable. Many patients die because of the progressively debilitating, organ-destroying qualities of secondary cancer.
In this research scientists created a monoclonal antibody that specifically blocks an adhesion molecule called PECAM-1. The researchers found treatment with the antibody effectively treats the terminal stages of cancer, with tumours shrinking and treated animals gaining weight.