Dr. David Soll and his “magic bullet” might be the feel-good story you need today.
Cancer, one of the most devastating and mysterious killers known to man, is the center of many peoples’ sadness and pain, even in an age of medical miracles. Most people have lost faith in a definitive “cure for cancer” but it remains the desperate hope of millions of people suffering from one of cancer’s many tragic incarnations.
While researching at the University of Iowa, Soll and his team have been well equipped to fight cancer at its source. The university is a leading cancer research center with sophisticated tools and the nation’s antibody bank at its disposal. This means that Soll was capable of studying the way tumors grow and form particularly intricately and, later, had very few barriers to obtaining a near infinite supply of pricey specialized biological cures.
“We discovered a Mechanism where tumors are formed by cells and aggregates being pulled together by specialized cells,” Soll said to CBS 2 Iowa. These cells, which have been seen to be instrumental in the recurrence and metastasization of cancer might be the key to fighting cancer at its root. Groups of these cells from three types of melanoma were treated with four “drugs or drug-like antibodies” specially designed by Soll and his team to fight these cells and all four worked. That is truly remarkable.
Michele Morice, David’s late wife, died of cancer in 2010. But, like the champion this story deserves, he doesn’t let his pain cloud his research. “If you make it personal, you can’t do science.” Soll said, “It’s like if you’re in a fight and you lose your temper, you’re going to lose that fight.” With a purpose like “curing all cancer” combined with Soll’s monk-like humility and focus, it’s hard to not root for this picture of a 1970 University of Wisconsin graduate.
His groovy aesthetic aside, Soll’s recent, self-funded, discovery could change the world. Bringing an end to cancer with an antibody would be a miraculous, simple, and potent cure. In Dr. Soll’s words a “magic bullet,” could be in the works in Iowa City, while it is generally discounted by most of the scientific community. Thankfully, due to his disciplined work across the college of Biology, he can self-fund this research without fear of losing a vital research grant.
It feels like some sort of justice that the killer of a quarter of all human beings be slain in such a dramatic fashion by someone so deeply touched by its ravages.
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