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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Smart Bomb Gives Hope For Kidney Cancer

There's new hope for kidney cancer patients as a new so called "smart bomb" could reach the clinical test stages in the next few years.

In the UK kidney cancer is the 10th most prevalent cancer and effects about 7000 people a year resulting in about 3500 deaths a year. It's also been given the title of "silent killer" because it doesn't always present with symptoms and in a number of cases (including mine) it's found incidentally.

The problem to date is that treatments such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy have limited impact on kidney cancer, and although huge strides have been made over the past few years generally these drugs will only help to stabilise the condition. That's not to say that some people don't have a complete response with these treatments it's just less prevalent than in other forms of cancer.

The current kidney cancer drugs have a tendency to be very toxic and the side effects make it difficult for some patients to tolerate over a prolonged period. This is where the new "smart bomb" technology steps in, it enables the packaging of smaller doses of drugs into nanoparticles where they can be targeted at cancer cells rather than the current method of large doses.

Although there seems to be no claim that the drugs will be any more effective it does mean that the side effects will be dramatically reduced which you'd hope would give patients more strength to fight and the medics more options.

They've been testing on mice so far with a drug found in soil fungus, but the tests show that tumour shrinkage was on average 35% and metastases was reduced by 91% compared to mice that received the formula in the usual way.

It's really encouraging to see these new developments, maybe in the not too distant future there'll finally be a real cure for this silent killer.

Andy Thomas (the author) was recently diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and has since setup a free wiki based resource to aggregate data on this subject. is packed full of information, videos, articles, media links and much more. This is a not-for-profit site.

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