Scientists in the UK announced last night a new strategy that could successfully treat all types of cancer.A study in Nature outlines how traditional therapies like radiation and chemo’ target the body’s healthy cells as well as those of the tumour.
But this new pill, a PARP inhibitor, targets a flaw in some cancer cells called the BRCA1.
The BRCA1 allows the cancer cell only one way to repair damage to its DNA.
Exploiting this tendency, the pill attacks the cancer’s DNA, and prevents the disease from using its one option to fix itself.
While only breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers have this flaw, the PARP inhibitor tricks all types of cancer cells into “thinking” it has BRCA1. With no other option to mend its structure, the cancer cell dies.
Newcastle University’s Nicola Curin tells Mail Online: “The very fact that the defect that makes cells vulnerable to PARP inhibitors can be recreated in lung cancer is pretty hopeful. It is very early days but it is exciting.'”
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