Cancer: What We Know Now

Cancer: What We Know Now, by David Archibald. An easily readable update on what modern cancer research has found, with some important applications for us.

In cancer cells, up to 60 percent of the cNOX molecules are replaced by tNOX (the “t” is for tumor) molecules on a signal from the nucleus. It seems that the expression of tNOX on the cell surface is part of the programmed reaction of the cell in encountering irreparable DNA damage.

Nothing binds to cNOX, but a number of plant molecules bind to tNOX and have the effect of inhibiting it. …

There is a parallel with vitamin C. Our species doesn’t make its own vitamin C. We rely upon getting enough in the diet. All other mammals, apart from primates and guinea pigs, make their own vitamin C. Presumably there was an evolutionary advantage in losing the ability to make vitamin C. Similarly, the tNOX molecule evolved in the expectation that certain plant molecules would always be in the human diet. …

There are vast epidemiological difference in cancer rates due to diet. Japanese migrating to the United States go to the US breast cancer rate, which is six times higher than the Japanese rate, within a generation. The difference is largely due to the higher consumption of legumes in Japan. One of the biggest differences in cancer rates is between the North American prostate cancer rate and the Vietnamese prostate cancer rate, with the former 40 times higher than the latter …

It need not be like this. Westerners eat a high proportion of comfort food that lacks the tNOX inhibitor molecules that we evolved to rely upon in our diet.  …

In fact there are plenty in most pantries as shown by the following table of common plants and the molecules they contain that have an anti-cancer effect:

In the 1990s … Monroe Wall and Mansukh Wani wrote, “Undoubtedly, there are other highly active natural products from plant, marine, and fungal sources as yet unknown which, when discovered, will have therapeutic value. Cancer is not one, but several hundred diseases and will require many different types of agents.”

On that subject the Professors Morre reappear in our story. The cNOX molecule they discovered comes in one size in all normal cell types at 34 kilodaltons. They found thought that the tumour variant, tNOX, comes in specific combinations of size and pH depending upon the organ site of the cancer as shown in Figure 10:

This is the riddle of the tNOX isomers. Nature does everything for a reason, so why are there so many isomers? If the purpose of the isomers is to act as a receptor binding site, is it to trap different molecules passing in the intercellular fluid? Does this mean that each of the 117 types of cancer will need a particular combination of plant molecules for optimal response? We are at the beginning of that quest.

Professor Falasca and his group [at Curtin University in Perth] are poised to break the stalemate in the war on cancer.

Read it all if you have any interest in cancer and what to do about it.