Skypilot56 said... Warning: LONG! Skim for highlights!
What do you think about applying evolutionary ideas to cancer treatment? Well for me it's BS cause I don't believe in Evolution!!!! I'll leave it at that
Well, I was debating about
(but resisting) making a similar comment, until I saw saw yours. And since it is from you, and I don't think you are considered quite the mad man that I am, maybe I can get away with a comment on this? ( But before I do, a shout out to CashlessClay
, who is trying to accomplish this very thing with diet. He actually wants to avoid dropping his PSA too low)
But, I will strictly limit my comments to observable, science based arguments, in order to try to stay within forum rules. And I will do so even if the majority of scientists totally disagree with me(just as they once did with Semellweiss). And before some one claims majority is bull, more like 100% disagree with me , keep in mind that whether folks like it or not, my degrees and lifetime working experience are within the fields of medical science. I have had all of the college level biology and chemistry and physics classes the majority have had, and passed them with flying colors. Followed by 36 years of continuing education in various medical subjects in order to keep my anesthesia certification. And I know that it is not 100% disagree- because there is at least me. And even a very few others.So, I would argue that it is not evolution to new characteristics and finally species, but rather selective breeding for characteristics which are already present, at least somewhere in the genetics, in some of the PC cells.
In the past, it was always said(and many still say it), that deep time was required for the process of evolution, millions or billions of years. Which is why no one would ever observe actual evolution of one species into another, of one kind into another. But today, we have videos showing how bacteria "evolve' drug resistance in a matter of days. With the claim "there you go, evolution right before your eyes". So I guess it does not require millions of years?
However, in the end, it is still always a bacteria
. Just as selective breeding for little dogs from big dogs is still always a dog. ( as well as observable and repeatable, important part of science)
When a plague swept through Europe killing millions, the only ones left were the ones with at least some resistance to the disease. They were all exposed to the same bug that their neighbors and relatives died from, some were resistant
and lived. They did not evolve resistance, they already had it.
All bugs compete with each other for resources. Just as one human tribe might compete with- even go to war with- another tribe over food or water or land. When a doctor gives you antibiotics(AB) to kill your staph infection, invariably some are not killed. But their number have been lowered to a level where the immune system and other competitive bugs( think in terms of "good" bugs and pro/pre-biotics) can handle them, their numbers are too low to cause symptoms. (The good bugs that fight the bad bugs, going on every day in your gut). If, however, in the future that same bad bug which survived the antibiotics starts growing (or if you "catch" that tough bug from some one else who was treated) , it is still a staph bug! It is just descended from those staph bugs that the ABs failed to kill in the first place.
Which means it is also resistant to the AB just as it's survivor ancestor was. Which means there is now no treatment for it, unless the docs can develop a new drug, or unless something can be done to ramp up your immune system. If the docs develop a new drug, the cycle starts again. Almost certainly, a few bugs will survive the new drug. And if those survivors ever start growing and dominating over the other bugs, and your immune system can't control them, look out. But so far at least, this is still a bacteria, in fact it is still a Staph bug far as I know. Same for E. Coli. And I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same for prostate and PC cells. Other than surgical removal, if the drug fails to kill 100% of the PC cells, but does kill the majority of the PC cells, the only ones left are the ones the drug can not kill.
And if your immune system allows those PC cells to start growing, well, you need a new drug. Because your old drug has already proved that it could not kill those cells.
I don't personally feel that, during the weeks or months that a person was being dosed with the drug, that some of the PC cells managed to evolve some new defense system to the drug. It seems more likely to me that they already existed in small numbers among their Bros, who may have been greater in number because they had some other growth advantage over their Bros, but did not have what it takes to resist that drug. But now, once they start growing with no competition from the recently deceased, what are you going to do?
Wait for a new drug, or hope your immune system can handle them. Because we have been engaging in selective breeding for the PC cells which are present and already resistant to the drug. ( I am sort of wishing that one day some of my PC cells would "evolve" into a healthy PC cell, but that never seems to happen)
And yes, I know most will disagree with me about
most of what I just said. But whether or not one believes evolution is a scientific fact, it is for sure a scientific fact that we often selectively breed for bugs and probably cells which are already resistant to the treatment.
(unless maybe the treatment is surgical removal, AND you don't miss any of the PC cells, a tricky prospect) In the following explanation, notice that every process described is something that already existed, even if it existed in other bacteria:https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/cellular-microscopic/question561.htm
"How do bacteria pick up these drug-fighting habits? In some cases, they don't. Some bacteria are simply making use of their own inherent capabilities.
However, there are many bacteria that didn't start out resistant to a particular antibiotic. Bacteria can acquire resistance by getting a copy of a gene encoding an altered protein or an enzyme like beta lactamase from other bacteria
, even from those of a different species. There are a number of ways to get a resistance gene:
During transformation - in this process, akin to bacterial sex, microbes can join together and transfer DNA to each other.
On a small, circular, extrachromosomal piece of DNA, called a plasmid - one plasmid can encode resistance to many different antibiotics.
Through a transposon - transposons are "jumping genes," small pieces of DNA that can hop from DNA molecule to DNA molecule. Once in a chromosome or plasmid, they can be integrated stably.
By scavenging DNA remnants from degraded, dead bacteria.
Unfortunately, if a bacterium gets a resistance gene stuck into its chromosomal DNA or picks one up in a free-floating plasmid, all of its progeny will inherit the gene and the resistance it confers. Why do resistance genes persist and spread throughout bacterial populations? It's basically just Darwin's idea of the survival of the fittest, reduced to a microscopic level -- bacteria with these genes survive and outgrow susceptible variants. And our own less than judicious use of antibiotics actually selects for these resistant types!".
Post Edited (BillyBob@388) : 1/21/2020 8:34:35 AM (GMT-7)