Sunday, September 25, 2016

Candidate cancer drug suspected after death of three patients at an alternative medicine clinic

A new type of cancer drug, 3-Bromopyruvate (3BP), triggered deaths of three patients who were undergoing an alternative cancer treatment. The probable reason being the drug was not tested in clinical trials. This drug 3BP, according to researchers, is a potential breakthrough and many scientists says that the drug should not be given to patients without carefully controlled experimental settings. Media reports propose that cancer patients asked help from an alternative practitioner Klaus Ross from Germany to avoid aggressive chemotherapy. He offered "basic therapy" against cancer for $11,057. Ross promoted 3BP as the best compound to treat tumors on his website. The investigation has reinforced suspicions that the dead three patients received the drug, the prosecutor said in its press release. Ross responded to a statement in his website, saying that he is in shock and regrets the impression created in media that alternative medicine might be responsible for the death of patients.

3BP was first studied as an anti-cancer agent by biochemists Young Hee Ko, Peter Pedersen and Jeff Geschwind. 3BP kills specific cancer cells by not affecting normal cells because they depend more on glucose metabolism as compared to an alternative pathway called oxidative phosphorylation. This drug reduced the growth of tumors in studies on rats and mice. Experiments on human cancer cell lines exposed that combining 3BP with chemotherapeutic increased its effectiveness. But, animal studies showed clear toxicity with particular management rules. A 16-year-old boy suffering from liver cancer called fibrolamellar hepatocellular was treated with 3BP in an experiment conducted by researchers.

 Scientists concluded that no major dreadful effects were observed, and the patient survived for a longer period than expected along with improved quality of life, which can be attributed to the treatment with 3BP.  Another case reports that Egyptian Oncologists treated a 28-year-old man with 3BP and the drug appeared safe, but it is not very effective when used alone. 3BP has to go through formal clinical trials, and the trial has to start because the company needs partners to finance it. Unformulated 3BP may be harmful in some cases, and systematic infusions should not be performed by doctors in which the compound circulates to the whole body. Government should regulate practitioners of alternative medicine for strictly, so that creativity in therapy should not affect patent’s safety negatively.

I found this article interesting because the anti-cancer drug, 3BP combined with chemotherapeutic can be used for treating cancer based diseases. It can extend lives of people suffering from cancer, and is a hope of cure for cancer patients. The good thing about 3BP is that it only affects the tumor cells not the normal cells. However, proper infusion of 3BP by the doctors and controlled clinical trials should be performed before giving this drug to patients, so it doesnot negatively impact on the patient's health as explained in the article.

1 comment:

  1. It's always nice to see a new discovery that can battle cancer cells. It is a shame however that these victims rushed to get a treatment that hasn't been researched enough to be completely safe. It said that these people chose this treatment as an alternative for chemotherapy, but I wonder if they would have survived if they had chosen to partake in the chemotherapy alongside the 3BP as suggested by the current research.