Scientists Targeted New DNA Cancer Cell Repair Enzyme With Amazing Results
By suppressing a key repair enzyme from the DNA, named APE1, scientists were able to neutalize cancer cells that contain damaged BRCA genes, according to a new study presented at the NCRI Cancer Conference held in Liverpool today.
Scientists from the Nottingham University have sintetized small molecules that can suppress the APE1 gene. In their study, they tested the suppressing capabilities of these molecules on the enzyme that repairs damaged DNA molecules in the breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and cervical cancer cells that contain faulty BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes.
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for controlling a major DNA repair mechanism and cells that poses damaged BRCA genes present an altered repair mechanism. This abnormality leads to damaged cells accumulation and multiplication considered to be a major risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Badly damaged BRCA genes cause cellular death, and suppressing APE1 gene in those particular BRCA fauly cells kills “two birds with one stone”, leading to cancerous cell apoptosis (cellular death). This particular approach is already used by a new class of medication named PARP inhibitors. These drugs block another key enzyme in DNA repair, named PARP that acts similar to APE1. This research concluded that APE1 can be another drug targed as PARP.
Doctor Srinivasa Madhusudan, study leader has stated that this is the first evidence that can link the APE1 gene to a future personalized cancer treatment. Not only that these new kind of drugs could kill breast and cervical cancer cells, but they could also help boost the radiotherapy and chemotherapy better treatment results in other various types of cancers.
Professor Steve Jackson also stated that killing cancer cells targeting two main repair mechanism si a very important way of approach regarding the treatment of the disease.
This particular study results may lead in the future to better and more specific drugs, with fewer harmful side effects, that can kill cancer cells and protect healthy ones. It also brings fresh hopes for patients that fail to respond to conventional cancer treatments.
Statistically , up to ten per cent of all breast cancer ceases have as a cause damaged BRCA genes, and new treatment options for this group of patients could help nearly 4,8000 woman who are diangosed with breast cancer in the UK alone each ear.
Nowadays there are few treatment options for this particular type of breast cancer, and this potential new treatment could lead to an amazing improved prognosis for these patients.