We all know that cancer is the deadliest disease on the planet…
But did you know that 90% of all cancer deaths are caused by something called metastasis?
It’s a Greek word, meaning displacement from one location to another. And as you’ve probably guessed, that’s a pretty awful thing when it comes to cancer.
Metastatic cancer occurs when cancerous cells aren’t just content to proliferate and infect one part of the body with a tumor; they’re able to spread to another area that was previously healthy and free from the original disease, where they continue to multiply. So the body then has more than one cancerous tumor to deal with in more than one area.
However, doctors in Belgium believe they’ve hit on a major breakthrough…
The Superoxide Killer
In trials on mice, they’ve found a way to prevent the metastasis of these cancerous tumors.
As you can imagine, achieving this could prove crucial in isolating cancers and, at least, restricting them to one area.
Professor Pierre Sonveaux at the Université Catholique de Louvain’s Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research admits, “When you have few metastases, this is still manageable for therapy. But when you have a lot of metastases all around your body, you’re only good for palliative care, it’s sad to say so. So what we’ve found is a treatment that’s able to prevent metastases.”
The rogue element in the metastasis of cancerous tumors is a free radical called superoxide.
Except it’s anything but “super.”
The scientists are fighting back with a super concoction of their own.
They administered an antioxidant to melanoma and breast cancer cells in mice, which blocked the production of this superoxide.
As a result, metastatic cancer was prevented with astonishing success.
In fact, the results were perfect.
Sonveaux reveals that, “In some of these models, we found a 100% response in the dissemination of metastases. When you’re a scientist and you find this, you just fall on the ground. This is a very nice result.”
Very nice indeed.
While the trials so far have only focused on melanoma and breast cancer, it’s an extremely encouraging start.
The Belgian team now aims to extend its research to see if the method works for other types of cancer.
If so, it could pave the way for an entirely new form of cancer treatment. And while it won’t cure the disease, it will at least stop cancer from spreading throughout the body, which is how the bulk of deaths occur.