March 28, 2014
ZL105: The Cancer Killer
Of late, there have been many new advances in how we battle against cancer. Breakthrough after breakthrough have circulated throughout the media to the point where some might feel that we finally have a grip on this terrible disease. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. As there is not just a single form of cancer, nor is there a signal way in which to treat it. Each form of cancer must be fought on a separate front, with separate cures needed for each of them. If it sounds like I am being pessimistic, that is not my intent. If anything, the news of new ways in which to battle cancer is invigorating. It tells us that we are not beaten yet. Just recently we had a new treatment that causes cancerous cells to explode, a rather unconventional yet amusing method of treatment, and now we have the newest drug to join the fight against cancer; ZL105.
A team at the University of Warwick has developed this new drug, ZL105, based on iridium, a precious metal. ZL105 works by manipulating the body’s natural signaling systems, which allows the body to attack and shut down cancerous cells without harming healthy ones. Studies have shown that ZL105 may soon replace currently used anticancer treatments, as most drugs used today become less effective over time as the cancerous cells adapt to combat them. In addition, most anticancer drugs have a wide-range of side effects, including doing harm to healthy, non-cancerous cells. Data collected thus far has shown that ZL105 could be as much as 10 times more efficient in treating a wide range of cancers, such as ovarian, colon, melanoma, renal, and some forms of breast cancer. The aim of the current study using ZL105 is to study its effects on cancers that are much more resistant to existing drugs and those that have the tendency to develop a resistance to anticancer drugs after initial chemotherapy treatments. According to Professor Peter J. Sadler, co-author of the study, “Existing caner treatments often become less effective after the first course, as cancer cells learn how they are being attacked. The drug we have developed (ZL105) is a catalyst and is active at low doses. It can attack cancer cells in multiple ways at the same time, so the cancer is less able to adapt to the treatment. This means the new drugs could be much more effective than existing treatments.”
The hope is that this research will lead to improved rates of cancer survival. At present, according to Cancer Research UK, it is believed that one in every three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. Worse, one woman is said to die of ovarian cancer every two hours in the United Kingdom alone. This proves, beyond any doubt, that more effective anticancer treatments are needed. ZL105 could lead the way to more effective anticancer treatments, using medicine that helps the body fight rather than attacks both the victim and the afliction. The last thing we need is a cure that is worse than an already terrible disease.
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