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Home Industry News New study shows potential means of ‘suffocating’ cancer cells

New study shows potential means of ‘suffocating’ cancer cells

30th July 2013

A new UK study has developed a means of making cancer cells more susceptible to damage in low-oxygen environments.

Cancer Research UK scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a molecule that can target the HIF-1 master switch that tumour cells use to adapt to low oxygen levels.

HIF-1 triggers the formation of new blood vessels around tumours, causing more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the cells, meaning that attacking this target could help to suffocate tumours and prevent their growth.

They were able to identify this molecule using a synthetic biology technique that involved the testing of 3.2 million potential compounds made by specially engineered bacteria.

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Our scientists have found a way to block a master switch controlling cells response to low levels of oxygen – an important step towards creating drugs that could halt cancer in its tracks."

This comes after Cancer Research UK and the University of Southampton announced study data earlier this month suggesting that a newly-discovered biomarker could help to predict the likelihood of the disease spreading.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801618540-ADNFCR

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