Researchers find a new, safer way to kill cancer cells
Jul 21, 2011
In breast cancer breakthroughs news, researchers found that some chemotherapy drugs, called topoisomerase inhibitors, effectively combat certain forms of particularly resistant cell growth.
Researchers at the Institute for Cancer Research, in conjunction with Breakthrough Breast Cancer, one of the United Kingdom's leading cancer charities, observe that the inhibitor drugs can identify and infiltrate genetic codes that initiate necroptosis, or cell death.
"Chemotherapy has been around for decades but we have never understood how it kills cancer cells" said Professor Pascal Meier. "This work shows... how drugs can be developed to activate this cell-killing process in a much smarter, more effective way."
Meier's study, published in Molecular Cell, sheds new light on what he calls "the mechanisms through which anticancer drugs exert their effects." Many cancer treatments are inherently destructive to tissue, and understanding how to activate and deactivate cell growth and production without hurting healthy cells is the goal to perfect forms of cancer treatment.
It is hoped that this new information will lead to better treatments and an improved mortality rate in women with breast cancer. As the American Cancer Society notes, breast cancer death rates have been on the decline since 1990, and treatment research has improved.