Could we filter out diseases with a process similar to dialysis?

In summary, a mechanical device could be used to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood, but it would not be 100% effective.
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kolleamm
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I was wondering if it would be possible to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood with a mechanical device similar to the one used for dialysis. When the blood passes through the device certain cells would bind to the walls that have just the right binding sites so that they get stuck while the harmless ones pass through.
 
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  • #2
kolleamm said:
I was wondering if it would be possible to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood with a mechanical device similar to the one used for dialysis. When the blood passes through the device certain cells would bind to the walls that have just the right binding sites so that they get stuck while the harmless ones pass through.
Sure. Are you going to design the method for identifying what needs to be removed and then design the method for make it separate out? I guarantee you a Nobel Prize if you do.
 
  • #3
phinds said:
Sure. Are you going to design the method for identifying what needs to be removed and then design the method for make it separate out? I guarantee you a Nobel Prize if you do.
I would really like to find a solution if possible. My dad was diagnosed with Lymphoma in May so I'm quite motivated to find a treatment/cure.
 
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Uh huh. So would tens of thousands of doctors around the world, many of whom are working on parts of various possible solutions (not necessarily using that technique but ones that they think will work)
 
  • #5
phinds said:
Uh huh. So would tens of thousands of doctors around the world, many of whom are working on parts of various possible solutions (not necessarily using that technique but ones that they think will work)
What's taking them so long? 😂
 
  • #6
kolleamm said:
What's taking them so long? 😂
Im sorry for your situation but Phinds is correct, if only it were that easy.

One of the difficult things with cancer is that they are one’s own cells that have gone haywire, not infections from bacteria or other parasites that can be targeted with antibiotics/anti virals.

They are not just floating round in your blood system making themselves an easy target for dialysis. They are parts of our anatomy and physiology doing important jobs.

Fingers crossed for you.
 
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kolleamm said:
I would really like to find a solution if possible. My dad was diagnosed with Lymphoma in May so I'm quite motivated to find a treatment/cure.
It's interesting in that Lymphoma's arise in tissues that function in the way you describe, lymphatic tissue does indeed remove both the products and causes of many diseases, not only that it actually learns the best ways of doing it.

Unfortunately, this means the tissue has to be adaptive and able to multiply quickly which probably increases the risks of malignancy, but it also means that it's a good target for research efforts. This means there is a great deal of information and different approaches to managing this group of cancers with many of the new biologic drugs being active in this sort of immune tissue. You need to get specific information about the type but you should be able to find a lot of very current information that might help. Best wishes.
 
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kolleamm said:
I was wondering if it would be possible to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood with a mechanical device similar to the one used for dialysis. When the blood passes through the device certain cells would bind to the walls that have just the right binding sites so that they get stuck while the harmless ones pass through.
The filtration approach you are wondering about has some limitations.
It would most likely be something like a column where the blood is run over a particulate media with antibodies attached to the particles. The antibodies would have to be able to bind to molecules on the surface of the cancer cells and not others. Not sure this is what is commonly found.
The blood freed of the cancer cells it was carrying would be returned to the circulation.
After a treatment the media would have to be renewed (replaced).
Even if the whole of the circulation went through the column, and if the column was 100% effecient at removing the cancer cells, there would still be cancer cells in non-blood tissues. this means that the cancer would not be eliminated.

Binding the cancer cells would be the only way to physically remove the cells.
However, if you had such good antibodies, they could be used in various other treatments: inject antibodies and let them label the cancer cells for immune cells to attack and eliminate, or stick some compound on the antibody that will bring death specifically to the cancer cells (lots of potential options of which I am not current on).
 
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  • #9
kolleamm said:
I was wondering if it would be possible to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood with a mechanical device similar to the one used for dialysis.
Filtering the blood is not exactly a new idea: I mean, apart from dialysis.
There are also ideas about making specific targets distinguishable for filtering.
But blood is a very complex organ and (temporarily) removing it from the body is always a risky thing. So just don't expect miracles.
 
  • #10
kolleamm said:
I was wondering if it would be possible to remove diseases such as cancer from the blood with a mechanical device similar to the one used for dialysis. When the blood passes through the device certain cells would bind to the walls that have just the right binding sites so that they get stuck while the harmless ones pass through.
I have relatives diagnosed with pretty serious illnesses too and I am studying then gradually, I am Neuroscience postgraduate student. However, your perspective seems to be completely out of touch with biology and physiology. From a personal and professional experience I would strongly suggest you to start understanding the lymphatic system firs, and the illness itself afterward. And then, start looking into the current research of what's being done, what drugs are being used, what support is out there for patients to cope.
If you don't follow a rational approach you end up asking nonsensical questions that can only delay your learning. Just go gradually, I don't know your background, but there are several misconceptions regarding biology, and how 'simple' it seems to some physicists. Nothing could be more incorrect. Live sciences are extremely complex and challenging, in fact running thousands of experiments to prove anything you'd like to prove, will mostly give different results each time. That's why replicability is so low in biology. Biophysics is instead a field that is gaining more space and respect because it can opens doors than the two working separately.
As I mentioned before, start by learning the multiple aspects of the system itself and then the illness. I'd strongly suggest you'd with PubMed. Anything we can do to help our relatives and family members is good. But use a scientific approach.
Best wishes you and your family.
 
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THAUROS said:
I have relatives diagnosed with pretty serious illnesses too and I am studying then gradually, I am Neuroscience postgraduate student. However, your perspective seems to be completely out of touch with biology and physiology. From personal and professional experience I would strongly suggest you to start understanding the illness itself. Then move on to the molecular behaviour that the cells causing the illness display. And then, start looking into the current research of what's being done.
If you don't, you end up asking nonsensical questions that will delay your own learning.
Cancer cells are incredibly diverse. From what I gathered, you are focusing on blood because you seem to have some rather peculiar ideas about it. Just go gradually. I don't know your background, but there are several misconceptions regarding biology how 'simple' it seems to some physicists. Nothing could be more incorrect. Live science is extremely complex and challenging, in fact running thousands of experiments to prove anything will most give different results each time. That's why replicability is so low, hence expecting the same level of precision you may have learned in physics is simply unrealistic. Biophysics is certainly a field gaining more space and respect because it can open more doors than the two working separately.
Just start with PubMed, illness first, then molecular biology, then present work on drugs as well as therapeutic approaches to help patients coping with the stressful situation they are facing. Anything we can do to help a little bit is a lot. But, use a scientific approach, document yourself first on the multiple aspects that any illness presents, and learn from it.
And one more thing if I may, look strenuously into nutrition. But, rather than adding, start learning about what engulfs the lymphatic system. We know a lot about lipotoxicity but much less about carbohydrates toxicity, excess of sweets, starches, sugars (including tobacco and alcohol), all, can harm the lymphatic system. Again though, do NOT jump up selling solutions to researchers and doctors. It would go nowhere. Learn more about the illness itself, that alone will definitely help you and your family cope. And if your father finds it hard to change certain habits, maybe you can support that aspects by making changes yourself too. I have several allergies for instance, having support from people around is certainly helpful.
Again, best wishes sincerely to your father and you.
 
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  • #12
THAUROS said:
And one more thing if I may, look strenuously into nutrition. But, rather than adding, start learning about what engulfs the lymphatic system. We know a lot about lipotoxicity but much less about carbohydrates toxicity, excess of sweets, starches, sugars (including tobacco and alcohol), all, can harm the lymphatic system.
Please, please, please do not encourage people to look into 'nutrition' as a possible treatment for cancer. There is very little clear, unambiguous evidence that diet changes are effective at treating cancer.

Those undergoing cancer treatment are likely going to experience moderate or severe symptoms that can make eating challenging. WebMD has what seems to be a list of reasonable steps to take to help in this regard in this article.
Here's another article on the same topic from cancer.org, which is from a larger list of articles on several topics related to nutrition and eating well before, during, and after treatment.
Here's another article from Hopkins medicine.

By and large, all these articles stress the importance of eating a balanced diet, with plenty of vegetables, avoidance of too many processed foods, and they have suggestions on how to deal with symptoms like lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of taste.

To the OP and anyone else reading this, be sure to consult your doctor (or have your affected family member consult their doctor) prior to making ANY significant changes to your diet. Keto, vegan, and other such diets are almost certainly not going to help and may in fact make the situation worse by stressing your body's metabolic functions or reducing the intake of calories and nutrients that your body needs.

Outright avoid anyone or any diet that claims that it can cure your cancer or significantly help. The people pushing these diets are either lying to you in an attempt to get your money or they are woefully misinformed, often out of ignorance and a misplaced fear of the mainstream medical community.

In short, there is no easy cure for the vast majority of cancers. Talk to your doctor. If in doubt, or if interested in other treatments than the one they've recommended, please seek the opinion of other medical professionals experienced in treating your specific cancer. This is a case where anything else, even 'doing your own research', can kill you or your loved one.
 
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We have gone out of bounds on what PF can support. Plus we have some good responses on the topic.
Thanks for all the help we got here. Thread closed.
 

Related to Could we filter out diseases with a process similar to dialysis?

1. How does dialysis work?

Dialysis is a medical procedure that involves filtering the blood to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. It works by using a machine called a dialyzer, which acts as an artificial kidney. The patient's blood is pumped into the dialyzer, where it is filtered and then returned to the body.

2. Can dialysis be used to filter out diseases?

While dialysis is effective at filtering out waste products and excess fluid, it is not capable of filtering out diseases. This is because diseases are caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses, which are much smaller than the waste products that dialysis can remove.

3. Is there a process similar to dialysis that can filter out diseases?

Currently, there is no process similar to dialysis that can filter out diseases. However, there are other medical treatments that can target and eliminate specific diseases, such as antibiotics for bacterial infections or antiviral medications for viral infections.

4. Could advancements in technology make it possible to filter out diseases with a process similar to dialysis in the future?

It is difficult to predict the future of medical technology, but it is possible that advancements could lead to a process similar to dialysis that is capable of filtering out diseases. However, this would require significant developments in the understanding of diseases and their causes.

5. Are there any risks associated with using a process similar to dialysis to filter out diseases?

Since there is currently no process similar to dialysis that can filter out diseases, there are no known risks associated with it. However, any medical treatment carries potential risks and side effects, so it is important for any new process to undergo thorough testing and research before being used on patients.

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