Wednesday July 17, 2019

Novel Approach to Treat Cancer Cells

"We have shown that we can image 'activated platelets' to detect tumours with clinically available imaging technologies such as ultrasound and PET/CT," said Karlheinz Peter, Professor at the varsity

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Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

Researchers could provide a novel approach to targeting and destroying difficult-to-treat cancer cells, providing new therapeutic options for a broad range of cancers, finds a new study.

Early detection of cancer is crucial for successful therapy. However, some cancer types do not have specific cancer surface markers that can be used to detect them and even the same cancer type can exhibit different properties in different patients.

The latest finding, which was discovered while studying activated platelets in the setting of heart disease, may now prove useful for delivering targeted treatment to cancer cells without major side effects.

Platelets are small blood cells that promote blood clotting and prevent us from bleeding when we are injured.

Platelets and more specifically, “activated platelets”, accumulate in the area surrounding a wide range of tumour types.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Based on this observation, a team at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia has now developed a new imaging and platelet-targeting chemotherapy agent for the early detection and treatment of cancers.

In addition, this approach provides the means to deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy specifically to tumour cells whilst minimising side effects and preventing tumour growth, said the study published in the journal Theranostics.

Also Read- Study Reveals Shape and Structure of The Milky Way Galaxy

“We have shown that we can image ‘activated platelets’ to detect tumours with clinically available imaging technologies such as ultrasound and PET/CT,” said Karlheinz Peter, Professor at the varsity. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Find Way to Make Cancer Cells Self-destruct

It also shows that ATF4 turns on the genes MYC needs for growth and also controls the rate at which cells make specific proteins called 4E-BP

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Cancer, Patients, Invasive
Traditional treatments often include chemotherapy or radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Pixabay

In a new hope for cancer patients, researchers have found a way to cause some cancer cells to self-destruct.

The research team has identified a new pathway that works as a partner to a gene called MYC which controls normal cell growth, but when it is mutated or amplified in cancer, it sets off a chain reaction that helps tumours grow uncontrollably.

The pathway involves a protein called ATF4, and when it’s blocked, it can cause cancer cells to produce too much protein and die.

Published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the study done on mice points the way towards a new therapeutic approach as inhibitors that can block synthesis of ATF4 already exist.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“What we’ve learned is that we need to go further downstream to block tumour growth in a way that cancer cells can’t easily escape, and our study identifies the target to do just that,” said Constantinos Koumenis, Professor at the University of California.

According to researchers, this finding shows the alternative approach is to target ATF4 itself, since it’s the point where both signal pathways converge, meaning there’s less redundancy built in to allow cancer to survive.

Also Read: Consuming this Bacteria May Cut Risk of Heart Diseases

It also shows that ATF4 turns on the genes MYC needs for growth and also controls the rate at which cells make specific proteins called 4E-BP.

This study also found that when tumours in humans are driven by MYC, ATF4 and its protein partner 4E-BP are also overly expressed, which is further evidence that these findings may point to an approach that could work for humans. (IANS)