Angry Robot

Cure for Cancer, Flying Cars

Remember Dr. Evangelos Michelakis and the Albertan cure for cancer? Y just sent me the following from 2007-ish:

So the generic drug dichloroacetate, or DCA, cures cancer in mice, but no pharmaceutical company will fund clinical trials because they can’t patent it and thereby make the kind of money off it they are accustomed to.

What’s happening now? This article wonders that, and concludes the drug is

Stalled, due to lack of interest, according to Dr. Michelakis. “We have not initiated another clinical trial with DCA in cancer,” he told me in an email this week, “It was my hope that other centres, independent of us, will be inspired to do similar trials, but I have not seen any signs that this is the case.”

However, commenter FlyingSnow points out there is an “ongoing” trial at the UofA (I fear this is the same study that the Albertan town funded – it has been ongoing since 2007), and another ongoing trial in Florida. Not being familiar with clinical trials, drug testing, or anything medical at all really, I’m not in a position to judge whether this means the drug is any more likely a) to ever be released or b) to actually work.

But man, it’s like hearing they had developed flying cars but weren’t going to make them because Detroit wasn’t interested. YOU BASTARDS!!! Oh, wait.

The flying car is being tested, and should be ready in 2013 at a cost of $279,000.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if the cure for cancer happened in our lifetimes – that seems like a perfectly normal thing to think, and it would be. But then, there is no “We beat AIDS” day. It may not be cured exactly, but it is a hell of a lot better than in the 80s, and we only barely register it.

Let’s try and remember to be excited about these things when they happen, even if the flying car is way overpriced, and even if the cure only kinda works on most but not all cancers. Let’s be amazed at the future, especially when it becomes the present.