Could healthy cells also play a role in cancer treatment?
Targeting healthy cells that have been hijacked by cancer cells could help treat many different types of the disease, according to research* funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute today (Thursday).
Scientists found that targeting an enzyme known as NOX4 stops the action of a type of cell called cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), reducing the size of tumours in mice by up to 50 per cent.**
Fibroblasts are healthy cells whose role is to hold different types of organs together. When they are hijacked by cancer cells, they become CAFs and are known to help tumours grow, spread and evade therapy. Until now, attempts to target them have proved unsuccessful.
In line with previous studies, the team at the University of Southampton found that higher levels of CAFs were associated with poorer survival in several cancers including bowel, head and neck cancers.***
For the first time, they identified that NOX4**** is needed for CAFs to form and help tumours grow in many cancer types. But they could stop this happening by blocking NOX4 using a drug that is being developed to treat a condition called organ fibrosis.
Read full article: Scientists deliver knock-out blow to multiple cancers | Cancer Research UK
|Read Full Article: Scientists deliver knock-out blow to multiple cancers | Cancer Research UK|