In the quest for treatment of cancer, researchers at University of Oxford and John Hopkins Medicine have come up with a new thing. The team of researchers have come up with a new way to selectively destroy some human breast cancer cells, the ones that multiply. They did this by invading the core of the cell division machinery. So far, the technique is tested on cancer cells that are lab grown and obtained from patients. Nonetheless, the technique could boost efforts to discover drugs that destroy breast cancer cells in patients, and not harm healthy cells.
A summary of the findings is published in the Nature.
“Clinically, some of the widely used cancer drugs already destroy rapidly dividing cells,” says one of the researchers. However, most of these drugs have extreme drawbacks, including destroying healthy cells. This includes fast-multiplying bone marrow cells, besides cancer cells.
“Meanwhile, unchecked mistakes in cell division can lead to genetic errors, and in some cases, develop into cancer cells,” said one of the researchers whose work is focused on mammalian cell-division.
And, in a range of lab-grown cells, the team of researchers looked for cell division procedure specific to cancer cells. The research team employed this approach because cell division processes are similar in all mammalian cells.
During the study, a line of human breast cancer cells encountered a line of human breast cancer cells that are dependent on centrioles to divide and survive. The role of centrioles is to act as the structural core of centrosomes. However, a number of cells can divide without centrosomes and centrioles.
The research team found that the lab-cultivated breast cancer cells could not survive without centrioles, unlike other cells.