Cancer: de meilleurs résultats avec une chimiothérapie à faible dose ?

TAMPA – En matière de cancer, les malades et les responsables politiques souhaitent une intensification des recherches pour parvenir à une thérapie qui guérisse définitivement cette pathologie. Pourtant, dans bien des cas le contrôle des tumeurs pourrait être plus efficace que leur éradication.

Il y a un siècle, le Prix Nobel allemand Paul Ehrlich a crée le concept de "projectile magique" - un composé qui cible et détruit les cellules cancéreuses ou les organismes à l'origine d'une maladie sans affecter les cellules saines à proximité. Le succès des antibiotiques il y a 50 ans semblait valider son idée. Le succès de la médecine dans la lutte contre les bactéries a été tel que la "guerre contre le cancer" repose toujours sur l'idée qu'en réunissant les talents et les moyens voulus, on trouvera un jour le "projectile magique" capable de cibler les cellules tumorales.

Pourtant, l'exemple d'espèces exotiques et de récents modèles mathématiques de la dynamique des tumeurs montre qu'il est peut-être impossible d'éradiquer la majorité des cancers, et peut-être même que tenter de le faire risque d'aggraver la situation.

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