A team of researchers at McMaster University offers identified an unique feature of cancer stem cells which can be exploited to kill the deadly cells thought to be the main reason that cancer comes back after therapy. Understanding this function will be useful for delivering more targeted cancer therapeutics towards the right patients.

The study, released in the scientific journal Cell Chemical The field of biology , reveals that an existing set of drugs is effective within killing cancer stem cells and explains how this particular led the team to uncovering important details about just how these cells are working in human tumors.

“The drugs helped us to understand the biology, inch said Mick Bhatia, principal investigator of the study plus scientific director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Malignancy Research Institute. “We’ve worked backwards, employing a series of medicines used in the clinic to understand a new way that cancer come cells can be killed. ”

The experts found that a particular protein, called Sam68, is an important professional in cancer stem cells, and that this protein enables existing drugs to work on cancer cells, causing these to die.

Bhatia hopes that this information may be used to deliver targeted therapies to the patients who would benefit from all of them, while sparing others from unhelpful treatments. He feels that treatment of blood cancers like leukemia and other malignancies such as prostate, colon and renal will follow the illustration set in breast cancer, where patients receive treatments tailored for their specific form of the disease.

“In the case associated with breast cancer, other researchers have found new ways to make current drugs more effective by only giving them to people who were prone to benefit based on their specific traits and using drugs that will target these traits, ” Bhatia said.

He said while developing a new drug takes typically about 15 years and comes with a price tag in the billions, defining the role of existing drugs to use them much better in patients will help to accelerate the process of bringing the right medications to the right people.

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