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Why is the Canadian Cancer Society Waging an Advertising War Against DCA?

“Why are donated funds being used to fund advertisements against DCA?” Clearly those funds would be better directed towards research? Why single out DCA? There are literally hundreds of agents which have shown promise but are not patentable.

Nov. 9, 2012 - PRLog -- I was taking my car in for service and was researching something pertaining to Dichloroacetic Acid (‘DCA’) on Google on a public computer and low and behold, in the paid ads section was an ad: “Is DCA cure for cancer?”.  
Following the link takes you to a webpage called “Issues Watch” which contains a section on DCA.

Canadian Cancer Society – Issues Watch (http://www.cancer.ca/Canada-wide/About%20us/Media%20centre/Issues%20watch.aspx?sc_lang=en&gclid=CLCmppubw7MCFVBgMgodLHkAog#Canadian%20Cancer%20Society%E2%80%99s%20perspective%20on%20DCAIssues%20Watch)  (search DCA)

DCA was discovered in 2007 by Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta to have broad spectrum action against Cancer in mice without harming healthy cells.   The webpage warns that adequate human trials have not been conducted.  It fails to mention that they will never be conducted due to the fact that DCA is not patentable and as such, the drug companies have no interest in the substance.  

The webpage also mentions a rogue paper from the University of Guelph which indicates that DCA may cause tumours to grow under anoxic (without oxygen) conditions.  The use of the word rogue is justified given the reams of papers and anecdotal evidence to the contrary.  This study was published in the journal “Cancer Letters” with an impact factor of 4.23. (An impact factor is measure based on the average number of citations of papers from the given journal.)  This paper has little clinical significance as there is no evidence that the center of a tumour is entirely without oxygen (as was the case in the Guelph study).  Further, and ironically, a British Study conducted on colorectal cancer (the same cancer in the Guelph study) found the diametric opposite result.  This study was published in the journal “The British Journal of Cancer” with an impact factor of 5.042 in the very same month. Here is that paper:


The Canadian Cancer Society makes no mention of this countervailing report reported in a journal of greater import.

A salient question supporters of the Canadian Cancer Society might ask is: “Why are donated funds being used to fund advertisements against DCA?”  Clearly those funds would be better directed towards research?  Why single out DCA?  There are literally hundreds of agents which have shown promise but have fallen by the wayside of not being patentable.  B17, 3 Bromopyruvate, and High Dose IV Vitamin C comprise a short but hardly exhaustive list of agents in this category.  

I would encourage people to continue to contribute to the Canadian Cancer Society and to Cancer research.  It is certainly a worthy cause and will benefit us all.  However, while donating, ask if your donation is going to support cancer research or to fund advertising against drugs the Cancer Society has determined are unworthy of attention such as DCA and Snake Oil?

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