The girl parents, scientists themselves in the field of oncology, didn’t pay attention and smiled at first. But they eventually decided to give it a go, and their daughter’s theory became a subject of research in the Royal Manchester laboratory where the search for cancer cure was conducted.
The Lisanti family is not like the rest. Their family dinner does not start with the usual “how was your day” conversations. For them, the dinners are not the same, especially after the answer their 8 years old daughter Camilla gave, when her father asked her how would she cure cancer. Antibiotics was her answer, like a sore throat. It was the right answer it seems.
To their surprise, Camilla’s parents found out that the cheapest and most popular antibiotics also kill cancer cells! They fight and kill the cells of some of the most common cancers – lung, breast, prostate, ovarian, pancreatic and brain tumors.
Doxycycline for example is a cheap drug when compared to cytostatics, and may be most efficient in treatment of cancer. Professor Lisanti performed research on his daughter’s theory and discovered that these drugs kill the mitochondria – the part of cancer cells used for reproduction. With that, they were able to reduce growth and prevented metastasis.
“So many times while having dinner my wife and I talked about our research and cancer so one evening we asked our daughter what she thinks about it, and she was shocked us the answer that at first glance seemed totally crazy to then turned out to be totally right, “, says Michael Lisanti, Camilla’s father. He and his wife Federica have already announced their work in the journal Oncotarget, signing as co-authors and credit their daughter as the person responsible for the idea. They are now in the phase of human research, performed on patients with breast cancer. “The answer was right in front of us,” says Michael.
He proved in his lab that antibiotics slow down the growth of breast cancer, prostate and brain tumor cells. Furthermore, patients with lung cancer live a year longer than predicted, when they were treated with antibiotics for infections.
Michael says that Camilla is a cheerful and curious child that wants to be a teacher when she grows up. He learned how important it is to listen to children even if it not makes sense. “At one point I thought is it possible that I am so naive to believe in fantasies of my daughter that antibiotics can cure cancer, but … she’s usually right about everything. Simply she gives answers that make sense.”, Michael says. He thinks Camilla will be a diplomat or lawyer when she grows up, someone who thinks and reacts fast. Whatever she decides to be, Camilla may be responsible for the greatest medical discovery this century at the age of eight!