Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma in our blood and then moves to our blood marrow, which then causes a low blood cell count. It is one of the lesser known cancers, because it tends to effect only a small amount of people and typically only after the age of forty. For a long time this type of cancer was thought to have no known cure; that is until scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden came upon a possible cure for the terrible disease.
What the study showed
The study began when scientists wanted to test the effects of the drug Sorafenib on the cancer cells. What drove scientists to test other drugs was the fact that the drug Bortezomib helped to increase the survival rate of patients, however, in some cases the cancer cells would become immune to the drug giving the patient no option for a cure. Sorafenib is a drug typically used for advanced cancer in the kidney or liver, but it isn’t until now that scientists discovered that it could be used to treat multiple myeloma. Before this study, doctors would have to hope to catch the cancer before it had spread to far, mostly because the presence of the cancer is not detectable until patients exhibit symptoms. The cancer itself affects the way in which the human body produces and funnels blood throughout the circulatory system and as a result patients can have many complications. Along with this, patients also develop Osteoporosis due to the presence of the cancer inside the bone marrow, which can make it difficult for doctors to administer proper treatment. Originally published in a scientific journal entitled “Scientific Research” the study found that cell samples from both humans as well as mice that were infected with the cancer would be cured by the drug due to the fact that it prevented the protein activity inside of the cancerous cell, an essential process for the survival of the cancer cell and it’s spread to other cells in the body. In effect Sorafenib kills off the cancer cells, not allowing them to spread to other cells and in effect cures the patient of the cancer.
What this means for the future of cancer treatment
While only conducted in a laboratory setting, this could be the big break that scientists have needed in treating not only Multiple Myeloma, but other types of bone marrow cancers as well. While the drug may not work in every case, there is a chance that this exact same process could be induced using the same drug to treat other types of cancer. Understanding how to deal with cancer cells and how to destroy them is the first step to finding cures for previously incurable forms of the disease. It has been an uphill battle fighting cancer, because of the fact that we don’t yet understand what causes many forms of the disease, but studies like this give me hope for the future and for the prevention of many different types of cancer.