Drugs against cancer: is DCA the new paradigm?


In the past years, dichloroacetate has drawn attention as a possible yet simple and cheap treatment to target glycolytic tumors and produce limited adverse effects on healthy organs. Since then a lot of research and hope was directed towards this relatively uncomplex substance.

A recent study aimed to find out the differences of anticancer drug action both in cultures and in live tumor models. It also observed that DCA works better in live beings than in Petri dishes which are popular among experiments in this field.

One of the key points discovered in the research was the fact that anticancer drugs generally affect tumor cells quite different in vitro and in vivo. This should be closely considered and kept in mind in the future experiments while trying to evaluate the effectiveness of new, potentially healing substances. It was noted that environments in the cultures and in experimental rodents are both very different. The research team suggested that some drugs which target the metabolism of tumor cells may have little effect on cultures compared to real and live tumor models in animals. The opposite could also be true, some experimental treatments could only be useful in Petri dishes with artificial, non existing environments (for example, 2- deoxyglucose is an effective substance against cancer but, unfortunately, in live creatures it causes severe side effects and thus is not acceptable as a therapy agent).

The good news was that DCA seemed to have a greater anticancer effect in vivo than in vitro. Which basically means that dichloroacetate has a bigger potential to heal cancer in live beings.  This information appears to be eye opening for future scientists and is vital for the following research regarding DCA's use as a single or combined treatment against tumors. Altogether, it was great to hear that the results of dichloroacetates activity against experimental cancer cells in rodents are encouraging and promising.

Ultimately, it is quite evident that dichloroacetate requires more attention because of it's powerful potential to fight cancer. More and more research could be extremely helpful in discovering answers related to dichloroacetates usage in therapy.

How could we avoid neuropathy completely or what drugs could serve us best when combining anticancer treatments? Hopefully, the picture becomes clearer as time goes by, till then - it is evident that animal models will remain the best selection to determine the most promising therapeutic combination.

We wish that in the nearby future the studies will continue to support DCA as an acknowledged candidate for therapeutic targeting against cancer.

Full study on the topic:
Anticancer drugs that target metabolism: is dichloroacetate the new paradigm?