Cure for cancer can be found says DNA discoverer
Irish American Nobel winner James Watson speaks out
Irish American Nobel Prize winner Dr. James Watson has said that 'cancer can definitely be cured.' He was speaking to the Wall Street Journal.
“We should cure cancer," James Watson ,82, who discovered DNA and the double helix and is now a scientist based at in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island.
"We should have the courage to say that we can really do it." He adds a warning: "If we say we can't do it, we will create an atmosphere where we just let the FDA keep testing going so pitifully."
“I was born an Irish Democrat, so I wasn't born into a family which instinctively says these things. But my desire is to cure cancer. That's my only desire."
Dr. Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962 and helped create the Human Genome Project to identify all human genes.
"I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime. It might be. I would define cancer cured as instead of only 100,000 being saved by what we do today, only 100,000 people die. We shift the balance." Alas, modern research has merely reduced cancer mortality in the United States from about 700,000 per year to about 600,000. "We've still got 600,000, which is what the problem is."
Watson says killing the mesenchymal cells that cause terminal cancer and discovering why those cells are chemotherapy-resistant is the key to a cure.
He points to two drugs, Tarceva and Iressa, two drugs that work on lung cancer but only for a year or so and only on ten per cent of people. as a good place to start
Dr. Watson says there could be a Hail Mary: a single drug that could work on all of the deadly mesenchymal cells. All of these cells, he says , secrete a protein called interleukin-6—and in lab experiments, interleukin makes the cancer cells immune to chemo .
Thus, the key to curing cancer may be finding a drug that blocks interleukin-6. "
While this would be wonderful if it turns out to be true," he says,"it's not conventional wisdom."
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