Breakthrough technique knocks out cancer cells sans side effectsPublished On: Mon, Nov 7th, 2011 | Developmental Biology | By BioNews
A new study led by an Indian origin researcher claims to have discovered a radical technique of killing cancer cells containing faulty genes, without harming the healthy ones.
The new experiment is expected to pave the way for new treatments for the most aggressive forms of the disease such as pancreatic or breast cancer.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham focused on inherited cancer causing genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, as they cause up to 10 percent of breast cancers that are more often fatal than non-genetic tumours.
They found that by blocking a cell repair enzyme called APE1 with special molecules, they had developed stopped two repair routes at once.
The discovery enabled them to kill BRCA cells, which normally multiply out of control because they have a faulty “repair kit”, allowing damaged cells to accumulate faults.
“This study provides the first evidence that APE1 is an important new target,” the Daily Express quoted Srinivasan Madhusudan, the lead researcher as saying.
“Not only could these molecules provide a basis for new drugs but they could help ‘soften up’ cells from many cancer types to boost the effect of radiotherapy and chemotherapy,” he added.