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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It remains to be seen if it will be widely adopted.

Researchers at Georgetown University are announcing a significant advancement in cancer treatment. For the first time ever, they have successfully grown cancer cells in a lab dish, allowing them to cheaply experiment with different anti-cancer drugs and develop individualized treatments. 

Human cells in a petri dish. If this can be done so easily, why hasn't it been done sooner for cancer? Pictured: two intestinal cancer cells.

Human cells in a petri dish. If this can be done so easily, why hasn't it been done sooner for cancer? Pictured: two intestinal cancer cells.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Cancer, Georgetown, cure, medicine, industry, treatment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The case is a significant breakthrough because it means cancer treatments will be based on more science instead of merely hope. Currently, doctors take a more homogenized approach to many cancers, and hope for the best. This advancement will permit them to develop individualized treatments by testing several drugs at once to find the one most likely to work. 
This development could save thousands of lives each year.

Still the question is raised, why not sooner?

Typically, scientists work to grow pathogens in the laboratory first, then using those lab-grown specimens, they can apply different treatments to see what work best. 

Yet, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on cancer to date, why haven't doctors developed this method for cancer?

For understanding, there is not just one kind of cancer. Cancers are as unique as the individuals who develop them, therefore, a unique, customized approach makes sense. The new method out of Georgetown is inexpensive, fast, and effective, but strangely it is only just now being developed. 

It is a curious thing that we can spend billions of fighting cancer, yet nobody can cure it yet, despite the relative ease and low expense of methods such as these. 

While it is perplexing that doctors have not yet pioneered such simple and basic approaches as this, it remains beyond question that a great number of the world's brightest minds are fighting the disease. 

Cancer is common, and as our diet, environment, and activities appear to put more of us at increasing risk, treatment and curing of the disease should be a healthcare priority. And currently it is, but, such treatments are incredibly expensive. 

Many people cannot afford treatments because they cannot pay for the medication and insurance refuses to cover them. 

The pioneering of low cost and effective methods such as these will help fight cancer while also freeing up millions of dollars that can be diverted towards other research - provided the new technique is adopted by the industries that profit from cancer, and remains inexpensive.

Georgetown University is seeking a patent on the method.


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