PR Log - Nov 07, 2012 - Dicholoracetate (DCA) received much media attention in 2007 when Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta reported that it dramatically shrank tumours across a broad spectrum of cancers in mice. The media stir had patients clamouring for the drug before it passed the traditional trials. Michelakis’ warning (amongst others) against taking the drug before the trials fell on deaf ears with a spate of online sites springing up selling the cheap, relatively simple, and generally well tolerated substance.
There was a big problem with DCA which had nothing to do with its pharmacology; It wasn’t patentable. To bring a drug to market, it costs a pharmaceutical company in the neighbourhood of a billion dollars which means that a watertight patent is required to ensure that the company receives return on investment. As such, the drug was largely ignored by the mainstream pharmaceutical market.