Scientists have found a way to use the phenomenon of “synthetic lethality” for the selective destruction of cancer caused by genetic mutations without harming healthy cells. About it writes “New Time”.
“Synthetic lethality” occurs when a genetic mutation that usually do not harm the cell, suddenly become deadly when connected, explained scientists from the University of California.
The study focused on two specific genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2, which, if the mutation increases a person’s chances for developing certain types of cancer. In particular, these mutations are associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian in women and breast cancer and prostate cancer in men (learn more about prostate cancer treatments here).
This means that if these mutations discovered certain synthetic lethal relationship, their activation would kill lines only cancer cells and not healthy cells. So for the new study, researchers from the University of California in San Diego and the Institute of cancer research named Ludwig examined these possibilities by studying a form of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Scientists undertook one specific enzyme Flap Endonuclease 1 (FEN1) — thanks to its role in DNA replication. The researchers blocked FEN1 in cell cultures of human, using either inhibitor drugs, or genetically from me, and in both cases found that it killed more lines of mutant cancer cells, BRCA1 and BRCA2. On the other hand, it was discovered that healthy cells recover from inhibition of FEN1.
The researchers then tested the technique on mice that had human cancer. Blocking FEN1 in these animals also helped to reduce the growth of tumors.
The study shows that drugs that block the development of FEN1 can be a new path for future studies as a potential cancer therapy.
The test, developed in the laboratory of the American pharmaceutical startup Singlera Genomics, has been able to identify five types of cancer for several years before the disease was diagnosed in patients by traditional methods.
The study lasted several years. The group of patients presented to physicians blood samples. In these samples of patients were made diagnosis of one of five types of cancer — stomach, intestines, esophagus, lung and liver.
91% of those who had put positive diagnosis really was diagnosed with cancer, traditional methods of diagnosis in the period from one to four years after they introduced the blood doctors Singlera Genomics.
The analysis is based on the technology of DNA methylation, which allows DNA to check the patient for the presence of specific signatures of cancer. The authors emphasize that to confirm the effectiveness of the analysis would require more extensive research.