Researchers crack part of common cancer mutation riddle, study says

Researchers have identified a compound that could correct a mutation and stop cancer from spreading — a development that could eventually be used to treat tens of thousands of cancer patients in the United States each year.

In a study published today in the journal Cancer Cell, four scientists from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Institute for Advanced Study laid out their work involving a compound that corrects a mutation in the valuable p53 protein — “a kind of common denominator” in a wide ranger of cancers, including ovarian, pancreatic, breast, lung, esophageal and others.

The p53 protein is a kind of intracellular security force that cracks down on cells when they go rogue, but which is hijacked by cancer, allowing malignant cells to spread.

The compounds tested — called thiosemicarbazones — have been intermittently investigated as cancer-fighters for decades, but are only now being singled out as a treatment for a specific group of cancers. The researchers found the compounds shrank or slowed the growth of tumor cells in mice.

via N.J. researchers crack part of common cancer mutation riddle, study says | NJ.com.

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