14 March - Dichloroacetate

Still soldiering on. A reader from the USA wrote to direct me to an article about using the orphan generic drug dichloroacetate (DCA) as a treatment for glioblastoma. As with clomipramine, this seems to be another case of a drug originally developed to treat other conditions turning out to have potential uses against brain cancer. It isn't something I'd want to try now, never mind on my own initiative - the article suggests that this could be dangerous. But it is certainly something worth knowing about.

It is interesting that the clinical trials which took place in Canada were funded by public institutions. Here in the UK it appears that trials into the use of inexpensive generic drugs like clomipramine or dichloroacetate are never likely to take place as there is no money to be made from them by the drugs companies. Why doesn't our NHS fund research like this? It would probably cost a fraction of the money that has been squandered on IT systems as well as opening the door to lower cost treatments. As so often in this country, there is an unhealthy relationship between our politicians, public services and big business.