And probably more importantly will we ever know.

Random surfing today I came across an article with the very provocative title "Scientists cure cancer, but no one takes notice". Basically the story is that DCA (dichloroacetate) has some pretty amazing results in non-human testing, but because it's not patentable big business isn't going to help fund the $300+ million human trials.

The article, in fairness, also links to some rebuttals such as this ScienceBlogs post that, while not dismissing the idea does pour a little cold water in its direction.

Like many people I've lost family to cancer and would love to see it eradicated, ideally very soon. I'm not happy that the big pharmaceutical companies don't do the philanthropic thing and maybe gang up to fund tests into a number of these alternatives - but that's not what they're in business to do (though I wonder how their shareholders would feel given a choice between very expensive drugs with limited efficacy vs a virtually free cure when if they or a loved one are confronted with the issue).

Which leaves the World Health Organization, national Governments, the United Nations and charities having to fund this... and no-one seems to be clamoring to throw money and resources at the problem right now.

Part of the problem of course is chicken and egg. There are many potentially worthwhile schemes in desperate need of funding to prove that their solution to world-impacting problem X is viable and thus worth investing in....

I wonder if this is a project that can be helped with BOINC to at least get it closer to finding out the truth?