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August 9, 2007

New Anti-cancer Therapy Aims To StopCancer Cells From Reading Their Own DNA

Topics: Medical Science News

topoisomerase%20enzyme.jpgPresently, there are three primary ways of treating cancer at present, and these have undergone very little fundamental change in 30 years. In the case of solid tumors, surgery is used to cut out the cancerous tissue, while radiation therapy can kill the malignant cells, and chemotherapy stops them dividing. An enzyme called Topoisomerase IB that plays a key role in some of the molecular motors involved in the processes of DNA and RNA copying during cell division targets cancer cells much more specifically than traditional chemotherapy, can cut off the genetic information flow that tumors need to grow.

... molecular copying machinery, constructed mostly out of proteins, in effect walks along the DNA double helix reading the genetic code so that it can be copied accurately into new DNA during division. Other components of the machinery are responsible for slicing and assembling the DNA itself. All of these are potential targets for anti-cancer therapy, providing it is possible to single out the tumor cells. Most existing chemotherapy targets all dividing cells, and the aim to find more sensitive techniques.
This promising new new line in anti-cancer therapy is being pursued by young Dutch researcher Dr. Nynke Dekker in one of this year's EURYI award winning projects sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCS).

Cross posted from Hyscience

Posted by Richard at August 9, 2007 9:20 PM

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