http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article2442002.ece Revolution in cancer treatment Scientists discover technique for pain-free, highly effective chemotherapy - the latest milestone in a miraculous medical journey By Steve Connor, Science Editor Published: 12 April 2007 Cancer treatment could be on the brink of a revolution following a study showing that it may be possible significantly to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs without causing side effects. Scientists have conducted a series of pioneering experiments demonstrating a new way of making tumour cells far more susceptible to attack with extremely low doses of anti-cancer drugs. The development offers hope that the gruesome side effects of chemotherapy, suffered by tens of thousands of cancer patients, may at some point become a thing of the past. In addition to making chemotherapy more effective at eliminating tumour cells from the body, the study suggests that it is also possible to lower dosage levels to a point where toxic side effects from the drugs are unlikely to occur. The breakthrough was made possible with a revolutionary medical technique called RNA interference, which allows scientists to "silence" certain genes in a pioneering development first highlighted by The Independent in 2002. In one of the experiments, for instance, the scientists found that lung cancer tumour cells can be made to be 10,000 times more sensitive to the anti-cancer drug Taxol - an unprecedented improvement in the power of the treatment. Taxol - also known as paclitaxel - is also used to treat ovarian cancer and advanced breast cancer. Side effects include fatigue, nausea, numbness and bone marrow depletion leading to lowered immunity and vulnerability to infections.