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Low-dose arsenic killing most lethal type of brain cancer
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Poison is in the dose—as researchers have demonstrated yet again with the discovery that very low amounts of arsenic can combat one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

Arsenic trioxide has been used for years to treat a rare type of blood cancer—but it can also combat the most aggressive and common form of brain cancer, gliobastoma multiforme.

The average life expectancy of the patient is just 15 months, but researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered that arsenic can extend that by up to four times.

Arsenic's great advantage over most conventional cancer therapies is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier—and it works better than every other therapy the researchers investigated. The researchers had looked at the cancer-fighting potential of more than 650 different compounds.


References

(Source: Molecular Cancer Research, 2017; molcanres.0397.2017; doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0397)

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