Key points about science and our unique genetic profiles

Current medical knowledge now understands that each of us has evolved to be a highly complex individual, with a unique genetic profile. It is for this reason that human cancer patients (as an example) can be treated today with medicines that apply solely to their specific genes.

We now know that even if identical twins suffer from cancer, their cancers are different and require unique treatments designed for each twin’s individual profile. This level of sophisticated science is called Personalized Medicine and highlights the nonsense of outdated laws first mandated in 1938, when such medical understanding was still very much in its infancy. These old laws are, however, still active and continue to require that new human medicines are tested first on mice or rats, and then on one other species – usually a dog – claimed as a ‘safety measure’ to predict the responses of human patients. Quite apart from mice, dogs and humans inhabiting entirely different evolutionary systems (on a very basic level), in light of current understanding about our individual genetic profiles, and the subsequent development of personalized medicine, exactly which human patient are we talking about – which mouse and which dog?

This up-to-date scientific knowledge is increasingly becoming the subject of high high profile science journals, including the Editors Choice in the British Medical Journal in June 2014, with a piece titled How predictive and productive is animal research? The journal Annals of Intensive Care also published via Bara and Joffe’s article in July 2014, The methodological quality of animal research in critical care, the public face of science which cited two publications by the medical Board which provides our evidence.

      Listen to the radio interview with Dr Ray Greek

Pharmaceutical companies acknowledge the failure of animal models in their drug development process, and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature, please visit this link for extensive and referenced quotes.

The National Cancer Institute has said they believe we have lost cures for cancer because studies in rodents have been believed [1]

Penicillin

Arguably the most important medicine of the last century – penicillin – is cited in EDM 400. Discovered by Alexander Fleming, penicillin was delayed for human patients by over a decade because it has no effect on rabbits.

Here is Alexander Fleming on animal testing:

‘How fortunate we didn’t have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably never have been granted a license and the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realised.’ [2]

The purification of penicillin, by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, helped it become the miracle cure which has saved millions of human lives. Here is Howard Florey on the toxicity tests he used:

‘Mice were used in the initial toxicity tests because of their small size, but what a lucky chance it was for in this respect man is like the mouse and not the guinea pig. If we had used guinea pigs exclusively we should have said that penicillin was toxic and we probably should not have proceeded to try and overcome the difficulties of producing the substance for trial in man.’ (Emphasis added) [3]

For a summary history of the discovery and development of penicillin please visit this link.

References

 1. Gura T: ‘Cancer Models: Systems for identifying new drugs are often faulty’. Science. 1997, 278 (5340): 1041-1042. 10.1126/science.278.5340.1041.

2. Parke DV: ‘Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Drug Safety Evaluation’, ATLA 1994, 22:207-209.

3. Florey H: ‘The advance of chemotherapy by animal experiment’, Conquest 1953, 41:12.