According to a new research, cancer survival rate may increase when terminally-ill cancer patients are placed into hibernation. Scientists announce that they have found a probable cure for cancer by allowing the body to enter a state of torpor, which makes the body inactive, physically and mentally. This state of inactivity has been found to significantly protect the body against the toxic effects of radiotherapy, and prevents tumors from growing.
Hibernation would allow oncologists to use higher doses of radiation to kill off cancer cells without doing any more harm to the patient. Italian scientists say the new approach could one day cure tens of thousands of ppeople who suffer untreatable diseases. The proposed treatment has been successful in rats that scientist are now planning to test it in humans, placing their hopes on the treatment to be available within 10 years.
About 50 percent of all cancer patients are terminal. This means that the number of patients who can get an increasing cancer survival rate is large. Without hibernation, the cancer just spreads in different parts of the body "and there is nothing that we can do with them," Professor Marco Durante, from the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, says.
Professor Durante adds that metastasis in advanced-stage cancer is difficult to cure. Doctors can no longer use surgery to remove the cancer or do radiation in all the affected parts of the body, or they risk killing the patients while trying to destroy the cancer. However, when patient are placed into synthetic torpor, it could give doctors more time to formulate a plan of care, and it stops the cancer from growing, The Telegraph reports.
Also increased by the therapy is radio resistance. This means that doctors can then treat all the different metastases without killing the patient. Professor Durante adds that with the new therapy, the goals is for doctors to wake up the patients when they are cured.
Accordint to The Times, the radical idea is based on years of research on hibernating animals. Anecdotal reports of people who have been plunged into deep freeze and survived were also taken into account. During hibernation, patients are placed in deep sleep through low temperatures, resulting to body functions such as heart and respiration rate, metabolism and oxygen uptake to all slow down, decreasing the metabolism of tumor, and increasing cancer survival rate.