Scientists have discovered a new way to fight cancer by getting tumor cells “addicted’ to drugs, which will kill them in minutes.
The method, referred to as “mito-priming”, has been hailed by scientists as a milestone in the fight against cancer.
Researchers at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow that is run by Cancer Research UK and closely associated with Glasgow University created the “important” technique as a study tool while attempting to figure out how cancer cells die.
The method may be used to detect new anti-cancer drugs, like so-called “BH3-mimetics” medications, and screen their efficiency.
BH3-mimetics, an “extremely promising” new class of cancer drugs produced to purposely kill tumor cells, target a family of proteins referred to as BCL-2 proteins that work to keep cancer cells alive.
Scientists at Glasgow University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences think their ground-breaking mito-priming technique may be used to screen for new drugs to target BCL-2 proteins and help discover new methods to kill cancer cells.
The researchers created mito-priming by making equivalent amounts of toxic and protective BCL-2 protein cells.
The study is reported in a paper titled “Mito-priming as a technique to engineer Bcl-2 Addiction”, published in the academic journal “Nature Communications”.
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