Two cancer researcher-parents may have made headway in finding a cure for several types of cancer as a result of discussing their work with their eight year-old daughter. In an attempt to include her in their dinner conversation, Camilla Lisanti’s parents asked her how she would cure cancer. Camilla’s answer: to use an antibiotic, “just like when I have a sore throat” seemed deceptively simple, but her parents decided to do a little research of their own to determine its viability. By experimenting on cells in a dish, the Lisanti-Solgia family found that antibiotics fought and killed stem cells in seven of the most common types of cancers, while leaving the healthy cells intact. Although Camilla didn’t know it, antibiotics can stop the growth of mitochondria, which are found in high numbers in “mother” cancer cells. Human trials are needed, but if this inexpensive treatment option becomes a reality for cancer patients, the world will have an eight year-old young lady to thank.
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