Okay, so I've been harping on to my friends/family and other connections I have about this big idea I have to "cure cancer". I've been able to explain it to many close friends, and whenever I get time, I explain the idea and process to doctors, researchers, CEOs, med student, as well as laymen friends, but I guess I realised it'd be good to get it down on paper, in a place that many people can access and understand and possibly give feedback or further ideas on.
But before I go onto the cure, he's some background on the idea, and the way this disrupts the entire way we're thinking about finding a cure.
Why The Cure Hasn't Been Found Yet.
Why Cancers Are So Hard To Treat. How we're doing it Now.
"This same process could be used for cancer!" I thought. So I rushed away and did my research and found that not too many people were actually thinking down this line. See, prior to this, the idea of using your own, dead cancer cells as vaccines had been tried. Others had gotten as excited as I was by the idea, but they had always failed to do significantly better because it had failed to induce a strong enough immune response, if one at all. But this method, which broke those cells down and allowed antigen presentation of tumour markers to T cells, could! And so I went on to learn more about apoptosis, how it worked, the latest we knew about it (because we don't know everything yet), antigen presentation and the methodology of cancer vaccines before one day I stumbled onto this article.
Great, right? My work was done! My idea was coming true!!
Why this will Work. Why this could Fail.
The pros and cons and the assumptions I've made.
- This works on A LOT of levels, simulatenously.
- This method can be combined with other therapies right now.
- It is one that can be applied to a whole bunch of cancers, and initiate immune responses to them.
- It is one that can work in poor areas too, if the methodology can be reduced to something easy, and replicable, which I believe it can.
- Even if it can't, the costs of this will be minimal in contrast to the cost it takes to treat people with the top of the line, latest cancer drugs right now.
- And the fact that part 2 of this will require a machine, which can be commercialised, means it can still make money, and hence, it won't be lost in the latrines of the pharmaceuticals and the patents they've made.
- If this doesn't work to cure cancer, the very technique, at least the "second half" involving the removal and immunostimulation of patients' tumour cells, could be used to find targets for cancer drugs in a new manner.
I can potentially patent this idea. But I don't really care if someone else gets it. If it's someone who doesn't want to do anything with it - I've got all these documents of work stored up in Peddal - an electronic public dating list for files which can prove I got to these conclusions before anyone else did.
- It will require specialised labs/equipment to do some of these procedures. Apheresis machines aren't cheap. To run or purchase. (You only need apheresis for part 2 - the B cells - though.)
- I'm assuming that analysing T cell receptors as they attach to cancer cells will lead to antigens being found. T cell receptors are slightly different to antigens (proteins/antigens don't necessarily act as ligands to them) so it may take a few shots to find the right antigen. I've read up on it briefly. I'll be looking into it in more detail later.
- I'm assuming a lot about the potential for antigens, once they're found, to be converted into antibodies inside the patient. I may be going too many steps ahead, and realise later that it's an easy process that a dumb ol' medical student could've reseaerched. Don't worry, I'll be looking into it. But how a protein or peptide (the patient's own antigen), if found, can be replicated and reinjected back into the patient at levels to initiate a B cell response is, right now, beyond me. Don't worry, I'm looking into it though.
- I'm assuming all cancers will have external Tumour Specific Antigens or Tumour Associated Antigens (the difference, TAAs usually refer to antigens secreted by the cancer) that can be targeted by antigens if the entire process works. Of course, combination with other therapies to make tumour microenvironments, for instance, more permeable to the immune system which'll be key to this treatment, will be advocated for; probably required to be honest.
- The latter brings about another idea. This assumes a patient's immune system is still intact. That isn't always the case, especially with blood cancer patients. However, with current treatment, in many instances, patients can be brought to a stage where their immune systems are competent. If not, perhaps extracorporeal (outside the body) applications will need to be looked into in more detail too.
- There are a lot of steps in this process, where each part could fail. Maybe I need a direct route/plan.