This fills in the details on therecent announcement regarding the ability to halt metastasis. The direct cause of metastasis is identifiedand isolated. Interrupting the errantgene will halt metastasis cold.
The quick message is that wesuddenly know what we are doing here. Thus metastasis is plausibly curable.
Ending metastasis will notactually kill an actual cancer but it certainly can allow protocols that tamethe problem. The mere fact that randomspread is halted allows known dangers to be reduced and possibly stabilizedwithout fear that it is a waste of time. Most patients actually die from the spread rather that the initialproblem.
Again there is continuing goodnews on the cancer front.
Rogue cancer gene' discovered
Researchers from the
The culprit gene, called WWP2, is an enzymic bonding agent found inside cancercells, the researchers explained in their study, published in the journalOncogene on Monday.
It attacks and breaks down a naturally-occurring protein in the body whichnormally prevents cancer cells from spreading.
In tests in the laboratory, the UEA team found that by blocking WWP2, levels ofthe natural inhibitor protein were boosted and the cancer cells remaineddormant.
Surinder Soond, who worked on the study, said it was a "novel and excitingapproach to treating cancer and the spread of tumours which holds greatpotential".
"The challenge now is to identify a potent drug that will get insidecancer cells and destroy the activity of the rogue gene," said AndrewChantry of UEA's school of biological sciences, who led the research.
He said this was "a difficult but not impossible task" and one thatwould be made easier by the better understanding of the biological processesgained in this early research.
Chantry said in a telephone interview the findings mean drugs could bedeveloped in the next 10 years that could be used to halt the aggressive spreadof many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, brain, colon and skin cancer.
If a drug was developed that deactivated WWP2, he said, conventional therapiessuch as chemotherapy and radiotherapy could be used on primary tumours with norisk of the disease taking hold elsewhere.
He said his team is now working with other scientists to try to design a drugwhich could interrupt the gene's activity.