Experimental cancer treatments

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Experimental cancer treatments are medical therapies to treat cancer (see also tumor) without the disadvantages of the standard therapies:

The entries listed below vary between theoretical therapies and treatments that will most likely become standard procedures within the next few years. Many of these treatments will only help against specific forms of cancer. It is not a list of treatments widely available at hospitals!

Endostatin-based treatments

Every solid tumor (in contrast to liquid tumors like leukemia) needs to generate blood vessels to keep it alive once it reaches a certain size. Usually, blood vessels are not build elsewhere in an adult body. The anti-angiogenesis agent endostatin and related chemicals can suppress the building of blood vessels, preventing the cancer from growing indefinitely. In tests with patients, the tumor became inactive and stayed that way even after the endostatin treatment was finished. The treatment has very few side effects.

Bacterial treatments

Chemotherapuetic drugs have a hard time killing the insides of tumours because these cells tend to be dead or lack a good blood supply. Researchers have been using anaerobic bacteria, such as Clostridium novyi, to consume the interior of oxygen-poor tumours. These should then die when they come in contact with the tumour's oxygenated sides, meaning they would be harmless to the rest of the body. A major problem has been that bacteria don't consume all parts of the cancerous tissue. However combining the therapy with chemotheraputic treatments has largely proven to solve this problem.

Gene therapy