Thursday July 18, 2019

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.

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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)

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Goa Church to Launch Cancer Prevention, Support System

In 2019, former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar died after suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. Former Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza had also died of cancer

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

The influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa, will on June 30 launch a cancer support network which will focus on prevention and support mechanisms.

“‘CanSurvive’ has two dimensions that one can survive from getting cancer and also can survive after getting it. The campaign wishes to build a strong network with oncologists, surgeons, NGOs and civil society groups to provide information and support,” a statement issued by Caritas-Goa, a Catholic relief and development agency, said on Thursday.

The CanSurvive campaign, which will function under the aegis of Caritas-Goa, will be launched by Archbishop-Patriarch for the Goa and Daman region Filipe Neri Ferrao in the presence of Caritas-India Director Fr. Paul Moonjely at the St Joseph Vaz Spiritual Renewal Centre in Old Goa on June 30.

Cancer survivor (Representational image). Flickr

According to Caritas-Goa, about eight persons are detected with cancer every day in the coastal state and a lot of patients and their kin fall prey to misinformation about treatment options.

‘CanSurvive’ is aimed at intervening and suggesting appropriate options so that citizens do not fall prey to quacks,” the statement said, adding that the campaign would also create awareness about cancer, cancer prevention lifestyles and cancer management in schools and local communities, along with providing counselling, support, palliative care information and resource mobilisation for needy cancer patients.

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“A huge emphasis will be laid on sensitising people with special focus on children and youth on leading a healthy lifestyle,” the statement said.

In 2019, former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar died after suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. Former Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza had also died of cancer. (IANS)