Scientists have found a molecule that kills cancer

British scientists have found a molecule that causes cells of glioblastoma, “cancer McCain”, and other malignant brain tumors to kill themselves. The results of experiments on mice was presented in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“When we started these experiments we thought that KHS101 just to slow the growth of glioblastoma cells. It turned out that this substance is not simply interfere with them to reproduce, and forced them “to commit suicide”. This is only the first step on a very long road to creating a complete medication, but we hope that in the future KHS101 extend the life of many patients,” said Heiko Wurdak (Heiko Wurdak) from the University of Leeds (UK).

Various forms of cancer brain and spinal cord are very rare in comparison with cancer of the breast, prostate or bowel, but their rarity kompensiruet the fact that all of them are extremely aggressive and dangerous to humans. The acquisition of such cancer in most cases leads to rapid death of the patient due to difficulties in the use of chemotherapy or impossibility of surgical intervention.

Brain cancer most often affects children, not adults. Only one of the several subtypes of these tumors, glioblastoma, accounts for about 15% of cancer deaths among infants. Still was not aware of funds that could prevent the development of these tumors and do not cause mass destruction of healthy brain cells. More recently, scientists have discovered that meadowsweet and some other plants contain substances that can inhibit this cancer.

As explained by Wurdack, to create drugs that can destroy glioblastoma cells or to inhibit their growth very much restricted to that between the brain and the circulatory system there is a barrier that prevents the penetration of any complex molecules inside the nervous system.

Eight years ago, his team discovered a substance with such a property hormone KHS101, forcing “blank” neurons to develop into adult brain cells. As shown by experiments on rats, it is linked with protein TACC3, a managing reproduction of stem cells, and blocks his work. It makes them “grow up” and become a full-fledged neurons.

Recently, scientists have discovered that the activity of this protein are markedly increased in glioblastoma cells and some other types of brain cancer. This discovery prompted Murdaca and his colleagues on the idea that KHS101 can be used to slow the growth of the tumor.

They tested this idea on several dozen mice in whose brain they have introduced a culture of cells, especially aggressive forms of glioblastoma, astrocytomas and other malignant brain tumors. When the cancer is “entrenched” in their body, scientists have divided the rodents into two halves, some of which received injections KHS101 and others “dummy”.

Much to the surprise of scientists, this substance is not only prevented cancer cells from replicating, but also forced them to self-destruct, interacting with combinations of genes not associated directly with TACC3. Interestingly, KHS101 does not affect the life of healthy cells of the brain, not interfering with their metabolism and “suffocating” them, as was the case with cancer cells.

In General, as shown by subsequent observation of the mice, KHS101 slowed tumor growth by about two times, so the rodents can live for about 50-100 days longer than their counterparts in the control group. It was found that this substance acted equally well on “clean” tumors, which contained only one type of cell and combination of 5-6 different cultures of glioblastoma.

Yet, as scientists, it is not necessary to run to the pharmacy or hospital. KHS101 must go through numerous clinical and preclinical tests in order to be used in hospitals.

It will take a few years, and while there is no guarantee that it will also effectively help people, like mice. However, Wardak and his colleagues believe that their drug and its more advanced version will pass all these tests and will be the first universal cure for most “unbreakable” form of cancer.