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The conventional treatment of cancer has been based on the delivery of non-selective toxins and/or ionizing energy that affect both the cancer and normal tissues in the hope of destroying the offending disease before killing the patient. Unfortunately, resistance often develops to these treatments and patients experience severe, dose-limiting adverse effects that reduce treatment efficacy and compromise quality of life. Recent advances in our knowledge of the biology of tumor cells and their microenvironment, the recognition of surface proteins that are unique to specific cancers and essential to cell growth and survival and signaling pathways associate with invasion and metastasis have led to the development of targeted therapies that are able to identify specific cellular markers and more selectively deliver lethal treatment to the invading cancer thus improving efficacy and limiting adverse effects. In the context of targeted approaches to cancer therapy, we present targeted osmotic lysis as a novel and fundamentally different approach for treating advanced-stage carcinoma that exploits the conserved relationship between voltage-gated sodium channels and Na+, K+-ATPase and has the potential to increase survival without compromising quality of life in a broad spectrum of highly malignant forms of cancer.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.