glass vials with a pink syringe filling them
Archive,  Cancer Advances,  Health Advances

Exploiting Careless Cancer Cells to Develop New Drugs

Uppsala University via News-Medical Net – Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumors? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumors? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

It is typical of cancer cells that they can quickly alter their DNA; however, in their haste to acquire new mutations, they carelessly discard many of their inherited genetic variations. This may lead to cancer cells only retaining a defective allele of a gene from one parent, whereas healthy cells also have a functioning allele from the other parent. This characteristic of cancer cells may well be an Achilles heel that can be utilized in the development of new drugs.

“We searched for genes of which many people carry both a functioning and defective allele in their DNA. One such gene, NAT2, produces a protein that metabolizes a number of drugs and is of particular interest as one allele is often lost during the development of colon and rectal cancer.” (Tobias Sjöblom of Uppsala University’s Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology)

Based on their discovery, the researchers developed a substance that kills cells lacking NAT2 and were also able to demonstrate that it can be used to treat animal models of cancer and tumor cells from patients.

“The conditions for treatment exist in 50,000 of the colorectal cancer patients diagnosed globally each year and we will therefore continue working to identify substances with even better properties for pharmaceutical development,” says Tobias Sjöblom.

To read the original article click here.

Free AHA! Newsletter
Get fresh-picked daily health article emails.
We respect your privacy and never sell or share your email address.

Free AHA! Newsletter
Why hunt around for the breaking health insights,
when we 
deliver fresh-picked articles to your inbox.
We respect and protect your privacy.
error

Enjoy these articles? ...please spread the word :)