First he discovered the double helix, now he hopes to find a cure for cancer. In what has been billed as his “most important work since the double helix,” James Watson recently elaborated upon the dual role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as both an elixer of life and a deadly force behind incurable mesenchymal cancers.
Although antioxidants have been popularly promoted as important health food choices, Dr. Watson writes that they can be quite harmful in late stage cancer, often causing rapid progression of the disease.
According to Watson, cancers that become resistant to chemotherapeutic treatment, simultaneously become resistant to ionizing radiotherapy due to the action of ROS to induce apoptosis. Therefore, the key to curing cancer will largely depend upon discovering new ways of reducing antioxidant levels.