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What Kelly Kicking Cancer Funds

September 14, 2018

Kelly Kicking Cancer funds two projects at the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center. Both are “nanobot” therapies which are designed to seek out and destroy brain cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched. It is estimated that there are about 37 trillion cells in the normal human body. In healthy cells, its internal instructions tell it how to function, how to "live", and then at the appropriate time, when to die. Within that 37 trillion, there are always mutant, damaged or otherwise abnormal cells. The body generally recognizes the aberrant cells, kills them, and removes them.

Cancer cells are different from healthy cells in several ways. Their genomes are damaged and have lost the ability to "die". Cancer cells camouflage themselves from the body's immune system, basically making cancer an immunological disorder. Lastly, brain cancer cells over-express certain enzymes on their surface. It is these features of brain cancer cells that researchers are trying to exploit to either kill the cancerous cells, or force the body to recognize the cancer and attack it.

Man-made molecules or "nanobots" are used to attack a tumor and its environment. They can be a single-stage nanobot, or a multiple-stage nanobot which penetrates multiple layers of the body's defenses until it finds the cancer. These hunter-killer molecules are constructed in a laboratory and carry tiny amounts of one or more chemicals. The nanobots are infused into the body which then begin their search and destroy mission. The surface of these nanobots contain receptor sights that are attracted to the over-expressed enzymes on the brain cancer cells. They latch on to the cancer cell and inject their chemicals. The chemicals are designed to either disable a cancer cell's protective mechanisms or destroy an essential internal structure thereby causing the cancer cell to die. Because these nanobots are only attracted to cancerous cells, they leave healthy cells untouched. “Mitochondrial smart bombs” and “nanosyringes” are two examples of nanobots currently being tested. The Kenneth R. Peak Center at Houston Methodist is a leader in this technology, and has used it to actually cure cancer in hundreds of large mammals. The Peak Center is awaiting FDA approval for clinical trials.

Other pages of interest in advanced brain cancer research: (this is a good video explaining brain development and tumor development) (immunotherapy for brain cancer)

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