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Medical Breakthrough: A pill to cure cancer

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Doris Benbrook is leading the research to make a pill that will cure cancer. Doris Benbrook is leading the research to make a pill that will cure cancer.

By Mary Joseph, NEWS 9

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S. A remarkable medical breakthrough is happening in Oklahoma City that could eventually lead to a cure.

In a lab environment, researchers have been able to stop normal cells from turning into cancer cells. There is still a lot of work to do, but the goal is a pill that could end cancer.

OU Health Sciences Center researchers have developed a drug that, in a lab setting, is killing cancer cells.  Doris Benbrook is leading the research.  Testing includes treating normal cells with a carcinogen.   

"The exciting part is that when we take those right after the carcinogen treatment and add our drug we can prevent it from turning into cancer," Benbrook said.

Lab testing shows the drug is effective against 12 different types of cancer, including colon, ovarian and breast cancer.

There is millions of dollars worth of testing that needs to be done before the researchers can apply to the FDA to start clinical trials.  If that goes well, they could apply in three years. 

Dr. Benbrook would like to see the trials done at the University of Oklahoma Cancer Institute.

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