Jun, 2021 - By WMR
The technique targets NADPH, which is a major metabolite aiding the growth of tumor.
Having a better understanding of how cancer cells grow in human body helps scientists learn exactly where vulnerabilities are lying and gives a way to new potential treatments. With this approach Canadian researchers found remarkable discoveries surrounding pancreatic cancer by targeting a protein that supports growth of the cells to inhibit growth in tumor in the laboratory.
The study was led by researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre that focuses on cancer cells' unique biology, which drives a specifically deadly form of disease having a survival rate of just 8%. The scientists had the knowledge that pancreatic cancer cells rise the NADPH levels, which is a major metabolite helping fuel the cells growth, hence a genomic analysis was carried out to shed light on this process.
The analysis revealed that cells having high NADPH levels and experiencing out of control growth also suffered oxidative stress. However, PRDX4 an antioxidant protein was successful in combating these effects along with enabling the cells to survive. The scientists then found that if PRDX4 protein is targeted in patient-derived pancreatic cancer cells, they can lead to toxic oxidative stress accumulation resulting in DNA damage and then cell death. This technique was ultimately able to impede the growth of tumor in preclinical models and most importantly, not causing any harm to normal healthy cells.
The study's lead Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky said, "It's not hard to kill cancer cells, it's hard to kill cancer cells without harming the cancer patient."
Hence, drugs developed for specifically targeting PRDX4 protein can prove to be a major boost in pancreatic cancer treatment. These drugs would first need to be tested in lab and then undergo a series of clinical trials. However, Koritzinsky is looking forward to exploring these possibilities. On the other hand, this technique of targeting PRDX4 can be integrated with techniques including radiotherapy for improving the efficacy of this treatment and gaining an upper hand on the cancer cells.