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Getting cancer is just one of the scariest things an individual may have and it does not only affect the individual diagnosed but additionally people around that person also. Cancer is definitely an incredibly deadly disease with a number of different types. It's difficult to find someone within the current world today who hasn't known a person who has or has had cancer. Because of this, millions of dollars are spent each year on cancer research to learn more about this deadly disease as well as to identify new effective treatments and cures for it.

The foundation of such research is to identify the kinds of cancer, diagnose cancer in patients, and also to find ways to prevent, treat and cure the disease. You will find various ways that cancer is researched. These ways include epidemiology and molecular bioscience, which is then utilized in clinical trials to compare and evaluate the different treatments.

The different types of treatments that can be being researched are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, gene therapy, finding vaccines, targeted therapy and ways to boost the immune system. Anti-cancer vaccination research is done deals with exposing extracted tumors cells to UV light for a 24-hour period and after that injecting them back into the organism. This approach has recently been successful on rats.

However, researches of this deadly disease has had its share of issues and is still battling many of them. The main issue it faces is funding. A lot of the funding comes from donations, so people and different organizations have to go out and acquire funding from the general public. Stem cell research has also stirred up a great deal of controversy basically halting any current testing in the field. Another controversial topic with cancer research will be the clinical trials and the usage of animals and human beings.

As stated earlier, funding is one of the most significant parts of keeping such researches alive. There are many organizations out there that are doing their part to raise money for research. Several of these organizations include; The American Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Research, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, United Devices Cancer Research Project, Friends of Cancer Research as well as the Walker Cancer Research Institute. This is just a short number of several of the organizations, but rest assured that there are tons more available.

Many volunteers world-wide commit themselves to raising funds for cancer research and cancer charities. Many tens of thousands more work in the industry as carers, or researching, prescribing, identifying and manufacturing drugs. Huge companies spend fortunes on cancer research. After so long and numerous billions spent what exactly has cancer research revealed?

There are already regular breakthroughs in our comprehension of cancer, but little progress in its treatment. Modern research into cancer began within the 1940's and 50's when scientists isolated substances that killed cancer cells growing in a petri dish, or leukaemia cells in laboratory mice. Early successes in chemotherapy set the pace and received much media exposure, despite the fact that they only applied to 5% of cancer treatments at most.

Serving humanity by solving its major diseases has a celebrity status, there is a lot of kudos and an air of Hollywood associated with such things. Cancer research is high profile activity and every now and then a scientific treatment methods are discovered that gains wide recognition, such as the HPV-16 trial, but it only applies itself to dealing with a small percentage of cancers. Mass-media hype is included in the problem of how we see cancer. Early discoveries setup an expectation that there was a cure-all treatment, a 'magic bullet' that might make its discoverer famous by curing cancer across the globe. The idea stems in part from aspirin, the original bullet that magically finds its way to the anguish and diminishes it.

Within the 1950's and 60's huge and expensive research projects were setup to test every known substance to view if it effected cancer cells. You could remember the discovery of the Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharansus Roseus), which revealed alkaloids (vinblastine and vincristine) that can be still used in chemotherapy today. Taxol, a treatment for ovarian and breast cancer originally came from the Pacific Yew tree. A therapy for testicular cancer and small-cell lung cancer called 'Etoposide' was produced from the May apple. In 'Plants Used Against Cancer' by Jonathan Hartwell over three thousand plants are identified from medical and folklore sources for treating cancer, about 50% of which have been shown to have some impact on cancer cells in a test tube.

When these plants are made into synthetic drugs, single chemicals are isolated and the rest of the plant can be thrown away. The medicinally active molecules are extracted from the plant and modified until they can be chemically unique. Then the compound is patented, given a brand name and tested.

In the first phase it will generally be tested on animals, the other phase will decide dosage levels as well as in phase 3 it's tested on people. Through the time it's approved through the Federal Drugs Authority (in U.S.A.) or the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency (M.H.R.A.) in Britain, the development costs for a whole new drug can reach five hundred million dollars, which eventually has to be recouped from the consumer.

Along with 'treatment directed' research such as finding chemicals that effect cancer cells, basic research continues apace, into differences between normal and cancerous cells. In the last 30 years this studies have revealed much about our nature, but still no cure. Here are some current strands of scientific research into cancer.

Antibody-guided therapy: this really is the original 'magic bullet'. Cancer researchers use monoclonal antibodies to carry poisons directly to the cancer cells without harming others.

Chronobiology: much of what happens in our bodies is governed by cycles, from the female monthly cycle to the cycles of brainwaves. Human health relies upon interacting cycles geared to acts of perception, breathing, reproduction and renewal. Chronobiology analyses these cycles in relation to different times, for example day and night. Hormones, including stress and growth hormones, have their own cycles. For example they could be at their highest activity in the morning and quieter overnight. Cancer cells seem to no longer obey the exact same cycle rates as normal cells.

Anti-telomerase: one part of a cell, called the telomerase, governs the life cycle of a cell and how often times it may multiply. Some cancer cells escape this control and also can raise the number of times they divide, becoming 'immortal'. Researchers hope to gain control over future cancer research cells by stopping the action of telomerase.

Anti-angiogenesis: secondary tumours (metastasis) can persuade the cells around them to grow new arteries to feed the tumours, supplying oxygen and nutrients for the growing cancer. This process is called angiogenesis and research here is finding ways to stop the signals to normal cells that start the process.

Anti-adhesion molecules: Cancer cells form into clumps, unlike those in a petri dish which form in to a flatter arrangement. When you will find clumps of cells they appear to possess a quality that resists treatment. This strand of research looks at ways that can stop the cells clumping together, by dissolving the clumps for more beneficial treatment.

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