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Iamme
13th February 2008, 03:59 PM
...and if antibiotics can kill the infection only while not damaging the rest of the body...

..isn't this somewhat analogous to cancer?, and us trying to kill only cancer cells while not harming good cells?

If anyone here is privy to knowledge regarding my two illustrations, do you bleive that researchers have taken a look at these very comparisons, to see why science was able to solve the other two problems, but why cancer cannot be solved as easily?

....................

I've always pondered how some herbicide knows to kill just broadleafs but not grass, for example. Did one person solve that riddle?

Gravy
13th February 2008, 04:10 PM
Cancer involves defects in normal cells that cause them to multiply abnormally. It can be very difficult to destroy cancer cells without also destroying similar healthy tissue. A better analogy to your tree would be creating a herbicide that destroys certain leaves on a tree and leaves others unharmed. Also, just as there are many types of cells, there are many types of cancers with many different causes and mechanisms. Additionally, the body's active and passive defenses can make treatment challenging, as with the blood/brain barrier making it difficult to reach brain cancers chemically.

Olowkow
13th February 2008, 05:55 PM
I've always pondered how some herbicide knows to kill just broadleafs but not grass, for example. Did one person solve that riddle?

My gardener wife says they distinguish between dicots (broad leaf) and monocots (grasses).

Wiki has a pretty good article on this, but lots of vocabulary I don't understand. Perhaps an expert will jump in here. I am curious also.

BenBurch
13th February 2008, 06:17 PM
Chemotherapy and radiation attempt to do just that; Find something not as deadly to regular cells as it is to cancer cells. Sadly, they are all poisons of some sort and the rest of the bod reacts accordingly. And the cancer cells have a nasty habit of all dying back but for some with additional mutations that make them resistant to the chemo, and then when they spread again into a weakened body, the chemo cannot stop them.

Madalch
13th February 2008, 06:28 PM
Broadleaf weeds, as I understand it, are more susceptible to herbicides because their large leaf surface area causes them to absorb more of the herbicide.

And, as BenBurch pointed out, that is exactly what chemotherapy does for cancer and most antibiotics do- they are meant to be more toxic to the bacteria/cancer than to the rest of the person. Your idea is a Nobel Prize winning idea, or at least it was one hundred years ago.

http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/pharm/chemo/readings/ehrlich.htm

fuelair
13th February 2008, 06:48 PM
About the going average here.

Note, however they (researchers) are working on drugs/treatments that are intended to be highly selective for cancer cells due to, IIRC, oddities in their metabolism/growth process/chemistry.

shadron
13th February 2008, 07:47 PM
Iamme seems to be on a "information" tear tonight. I think he's wanting to build a design case out of all these questions. I suppose that's better than DOC's pontificating on obscure historical facts.

CurtC
13th February 2008, 08:35 PM
...and if antibiotics can kill the infection only while not damaging the rest of the body...

..isn't this somewhat analogous to cancer?, and us trying to kill only cancer cells while not harming good cells?

To add to what others have said, antibiotics are molecules that interfere with how bacterial cells go about their business. Bacteria are very different from human cells, so it's not surprising that someone found a molecule that would harm one and not the other.

Cancer cells, on the other hand, are human cells. It's much harder to find a molecule that would interfere with a cancerous human cell while leaving normal human cells alone. The idea's not impossible, it's just a lot harder to find one.

Soapy Sam
14th February 2008, 03:33 AM
Iamme seems to be on a "information" tear tonight. I think he's wanting to build a design case out of all these questions. I suppose that's better than DOC's pontificating on obscure historical facts.


Oh, he's permanently on that track. Sometimes he stirs up some interesting nutrients before the mud settles. He's the grain of sand that irritates the oyster; mostly you get annoyed molluscs, but with the occasional pearl.

fuelair
14th February 2008, 04:41 AM
Iamme seems to be on a "information" tear tonight. I think he's wanting to build a design case out of all these questions. I suppose that's better than DOC's pontificating on obscure historical misquotes and misinterpretations.
Fixed it for you!!:):):)

aggle-rithm
14th February 2008, 05:10 AM
Chemotherapy and radiation attempt to do just that; Find something not as deadly to regular cells as it is to cancer cells. Sadly, they are all poisons of some sort and the rest of the bod reacts accordingly.

I think the closest they can come to a selective remedy is to target cells that divide quickly. Unfortunately, a lot of healthy cells do that, which is why chemotherapy causes nausea and hair loss.

I get skin cancer a lot, and the interesting thing is that there isn't really a sharp dividing line between healthy and cancerous tissue. There are all sorts of abnormal cells that fall somewhere in between these categories. The doctors describe these as showing "high activity", but not enough to be considered cancerous. There are creams that can be used for pre-cancerous lesions that are potent enough to kill these "high activity" abnormal cells, but would be insufficient to treat full-blown cancer.

BenBurch
14th February 2008, 10:55 AM
I think the closest they can come to a selective remedy is to target cells that divide quickly.

Well, some things are fairly specific. Zevalin for example is an antibody that attaches to B-cells and delivers Yttrium to the site of the lymphoma. And Tamoxifen is fairly specific too. We're finding these things, but the problem is very difficult.

aggle-rithm
14th February 2008, 12:14 PM
Well, some things are fairly specific. Zevalin for example is an antibody that attaches to B-cells and delivers Yttrium to the site of the lymphoma. And Tamoxifen is fairly specific too. We're finding these things, but the problem is very difficult.

Well, that's good news.

On the other hand, it's amazing (and not a little scary) how clever cancer cells are at overcoming whatever we can think of to attack them with.

Lynx2174
14th February 2008, 02:04 PM
...and if antibiotics can kill the infection only while not damaging the rest of the body...

..isn't this somewhat analogous to cancer?, and us trying to kill only cancer cells while not harming good cells?

If anyone here is privy to knowledge regarding my two illustrations, do you bleive that researchers have taken a look at these very comparisons, to see why science was able to solve the other two problems, but why cancer cannot be solved as easily?

....................

I've always pondered how some herbicide knows to kill just broadleafs but not grass, for example. Did one person solve that riddle?


Researchers don't even need to so much as look at a comparison like that, because it's worthless. They just have to know what they're dealing with. Cancer is human cells. They have (almost exactly, except for a critical error) the same makeup and genetic code as the cells that mutated into it. It's not fundamentally different in any way from the rest of the cells you're made of, except that it happens to like dividing at an alarming rate and spreading, killing you.

Bacteria aren't anything like people, and so it's easy to find things that hurt them but don't hurt us. Broad-leafed plants aren't the same as other plants, so it's easy to find things that hurt them, but not other plants.

Cancer is, essentially, made of people. So it's rather difficult to find things that kill cancer but not people. It takes a whole lot more effort and creativity and trial and error.

Just because two problem sounds similar doesn't mean they have anything to do with each other. The real world isn't a simple place. We can only endeavor to know more about it, so that we can solve real problems.

Iamme
14th February 2008, 04:00 PM
Chemotherapy and radiation attempt to do just that; Find something not as deadly to regular cells as it is to cancer cells. Sadly, they are all poisons of some sort and the rest of the bod reacts accordingly. And the cancer cells have a nasty habit of all dying back but for some with additional mutations that make them resistant to the chemo, and then when they spread again into a weakened body, the chemo cannot stop them.

Isn't it for that reason (your last sentence) that people go to those cancer treatment centers, (whether in the U.S. or Tijuana, or ?) that make sure that they keep up your immune system with proper nutrition? And I wonder what those center's track record is for curing cancer (I'd say cancer is cured after 10 years cancer free. The 5-year rule of thumb is not good enough IMO, as some/many? victims who thought they were cured have that cancer spread to places like liver and brain and then curtains...like my aunt, who went the 5 years and was so happy, but now is pushing daisies), as opposed to other hospitals? Although, maybe more people go to those centers as a last ditch hope after they have tried conventional treatments and are dying. But that I do not know.

Iamme
14th February 2008, 04:05 PM
Broad-leafed plants aren't the same as other plants, so it's easy to find things that hurt them, but not other plants.



I originally thought the comparison was fairly close since it is green growth of a basic plant like form...basically just a green leave-like structure. And yet the chemical knows how to attack the one and not the other. Just like the other poster who expressed interest in knowing how that is done...so am I.

godless dave
14th February 2008, 04:11 PM
There's nothing basic about a plant. Selective herbicides are designed to target some kinds of plants and not others. With all the variety among plant life, it doesn't sound all that hard to do.

shadron
14th February 2008, 04:31 PM
Well, some things are fairly specific. Zevalin for example is an antibody that attaches to B-cells and delivers Yttrium to the site of the lymphoma. And Tamoxifen is fairly specific too. We're finding these things, but the problem is very difficult.

That's got be the first time I've heard yttrium used as a medicine, or for anything except as a possible component of room temperature superconductors. Is it specifically toxic to cells?

shadron
14th February 2008, 04:47 PM
The 5-year rule of thumb is not good enough IMO, as some/many? victims who thought they were cured have that cancer spread to places like liver and brain and then curtains...like my aunt, who went the 5 years and was so happy, but now is pushing daisies), as opposed to other hospitals? Although, maybe more people go to those centers as a last ditch hope after they have tried conventional treatments and are dying. But that I do not know.

Well, absolutely its not "good enough", but you fight with the tools you have, and if that's what the bar is, then you fight to reach that. It could just as well be 10 years, but all the success rates will be lower as a result; that's all. It's possible that no one in an absolute sense is cancer-free ever; like tuberculosis once you get it, it may always be holed up somewhere in the background, and it's possible that cancer isn't really a disease but more of a normal stage of development unmasked by our relatively newfound longevity. It's pretty plain that the human body simply wasn't evolved to last much more than 50 years, after which evolution loses interest. I do know that for all cancers the mean years free measure has increased since 1960, and in some cases by a lot. Cancer control is coming, and at an accelerating rate, since we now have a handle on the genetic underpinnings. In 1960 oncologists wondered how cancer could be positively linked with environment, inheritance, viruses and age - all of them. Did it follow no rules? Today they are understanding it.

Gravy
14th February 2008, 04:58 PM
Isn't it for that reason (your last sentence) that people go to those cancer treatment centers, (whether in the U.S. or Tijuana, or ?) that make sure that they keep up your immune system with proper nutrition? And I wonder what those center's track record is for curing cancer (I'd say cancer is cured after 10 years cancer free.Some of these centers are legitimate. Others, like many of the cancer treatment clinics on the Mexican side of the border, are not and are run by deluded pseudoscientists or knowing frauds who take advantage of desperate people. Their records (when such exist: usually anecdote is all they offer) for "curing" cancer are invariably poor, often they do more harm than good, and always they are expensive and not covered by insurance.

The 5-year rule of thumb is not good enough IMO, as some/many? victims who thought they were cured have that cancer spread to places like liver and brain and then curtains...like my aunt, who went the 5 years and was so happy, but now is pushing daisies), as opposed to other hospitals? Although, maybe more people go to those centers as a last ditch hope after they have tried conventional treatments and are dying. But that I do not know.There is no "5-year rule of thumb" used to determine if someones' cancer won't return, nor are statistical means relevant in many cases.

Dogdoctor
14th February 2008, 05:20 PM
Isn't it for that reason (your last sentence) that people go to those cancer treatment centers, (whether in the U.S. or Tijuana, or ?) that make sure that they keep up your immune system with proper nutrition? And I wonder what those center's track record is for curing cancer (I'd say cancer is cured after 10 years cancer free. The 5-year rule of thumb is not good enough IMO, as some/many? victims who thought they were cured have that cancer spread to places like liver and brain and then curtains...like my aunt, who went the 5 years and was so happy, but now is pushing daisies), as opposed to other hospitals? Although, maybe more people go to those centers as a last ditch hope after they have tried conventional treatments and are dying. But that I do not know.

Long ago I read about a alternative cancer treatment center that had numerous testimonials videotaped that prospective clients could watch. Someone went and looked up all the people giving the testimonials and of the people who were ever accurately diagnosed with cancer 100% were dead from cancer. Their recorded images were still saying how their lives had been saved etc....

BenBurch
14th February 2008, 10:06 PM
That's got be the first time I've heard yttrium used as a medicine, or for anything except as a possible component of room temperature superconductors. Is it specifically toxic to cells?

Radioisotope of Yttrium I should have specified.

BenBurch
14th February 2008, 10:10 PM
Doctors will sometimes tell a patient at five years that they are in the clear. I think mostly because they want them to stop worrying.

Dogdoctor
14th February 2008, 11:48 PM
Doctors will sometimes tell a patient at five years that they are in the clear. I think mostly because they want them to stop worrying.

It's different for different tumors. With many tumors if you hadn't had a relapse by 5 years you aren't likely to have a relapse. Other tumors notably breast cancer can relapse 10 or 15 years later. But there aren't any guarantees so it's all about percentages. I guess for human doctors once the chance of relapse is so low then it is considered a cure although technically there is still a small chance of a relapse.

Skeptic Ginger
15th February 2008, 04:14 AM
...and if antibiotics can kill the infection only while not damaging the rest of the body...

..isn't this somewhat analogous to cancer?, and us trying to kill only cancer cells while not harming good cells?

If anyone here is privy to knowledge regarding my two illustrations, do you bleive that researchers have taken a look at these very comparisons, to see why science was able to solve the other two problems, but why cancer cannot be solved as easily?

....................

I've always pondered how some herbicide knows to kill just broadleafs but not grass, for example. Did one person solve that riddle?All cells are not equal. It usually comes down to differences at the molecular level.