Medical Breakthrough: Targeting The Growth of Cancer Cells

If you’ve ever known someone with cancer, you know the terrible side effects of the disease… mutated cells replicating throughout the body, slowly taking over vital organs, until they stop functioning.

Traditional medicine techniques for fighting cancer usually include cutting out the mutated cancer cells, or attempting to kill them off through highly toxic chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Some advanced-stage cancer patients even make the choice to just forego the misery of treatment, attempting to maintain a little quality of life before succumbing to the disease.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida hope to change that by exploring treatment options that focus on the molecular DNA level. Already, they’ve identified the microprocessor inside cells that control its growth.

Researchers believe that if they can regulate the mechanism that controls growth in cells, called microRNA, they should be able to directly target the growth of cancer cells, stopping them in their tracks.

The body regulates the growth of cells by having microRNA produce a protein called PLEKHA7. This protein breaks the cell bonds and stops growth. In cancer cells there are deficiencies in microRNA, which is what causes them to replicate non-stop.

Scientists found that they were able to reverse the growth process in cancer tumors with injections containing microRNA and the PLEKHA7 protein.

Department of Cancer Biology professor Panos Anastasiadis stated that this experimental treatment has been performed with promising results in, “very aggressive human cell lines from breast and bladder cancer.”

Currently the timeline for mass production of this treatment is unclear, however the results are looking like a very viable alternrnative to existing treatment options. With innovation at all-time highs within the biotech industry, look forward to continued breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.

Ben Benoy

Ben Benoy

Editor, BioTech Intel Trader