Ecstasy Might Cure Cancer?

August 22, 2011


It behooves us to warn you that MDMA, a.k.a. Ecstasy, is not a nice, happy drug like ravers insist. It messes with your brain, and the long-term effects of use are not clearly understood. So, you've been warned, don't do drugs, and our lawyers say we're good legally now.

That said, yeah, MDMA might help cure certain blood cancers. No, ravers, you have no right to be smug.

We've known that it can tackle cancers like leukemia for quite a while: in 2006, tests showed MDMA kicked the ass of over half of blood cancers. The problem was the dose to do so was, uh, fatal; it took your brain down with the cancer. Still, the evidence was pretty compelling, especially since blood cancer is kind of a horrible way to die.

Researchers at Birmingham University essentially have proven two things: one, that you can mess with MDMA molecules to up that whole “wipes the floor with cancer” thing while not killing your brain, and two, that the drug can remain effective even when you fiddle with it.

Now they tackle the larger problem: actually constructing this drug they've designed in theory. That could take until 2021. But until then, people can rest assured that science has a potentially powerful new weapon against cancer. It just might make grandpa very annoying and prone to dancing for a while.

Photo: Michael Lorenzini/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
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