University of East Anglia researchers
may have found a way to prevent the spread of cancer through the discovery of a
Chantry, study leader from the University of East Anglia's School of Biological
Sciences, and Dr. Surinder Soond, of the University of East Anglia, have
discovered a rogue gene that, if blocked by proper medication, could prevent
the spread of cancer.
discovery of the rogue gene came about when the team of researchers was
studying 'Smads,' which are natural cancer cell inhibitors in the human
gene is called WWP2, and it is an enzymic bonding agent. It is found within
cancer cells and helps the spread of cancer by attacking Smads in the human
body, which are supposed to stop the spread of cancer.
late stages of cancer involve a process known as metastasis - a critical phase
in the progression of the disease that cannot currently be treated or
prevented," said Chantry. "The challenge now is to identify a potent
drug that will get inside cancer cells and destroy the activity of the rogue
gene. This is a difficult but not impossible task, made easier by the deeper understanding
of the biological processes revealed in this study."
lab, researchers found that the levels of the natural inhibitor increased when
WWP2 was blocked. This caused the cancer
cells to remain dormant.
and Soond hope this research leads to the development of drugs that can block
WWP2. This would allow Smads to prevent the spread of cancer, and doctors could
perform surgery on primary tumors without worrying about the spread of the
to Chantry, these drugs could be developed within the next decade, taking
researchers one step closer to success in the war on cancer. They're aiming to
stop the spread of some of the most aggressive cancers such as brain, colon,
skin and breast
study was published in Oncogene.