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October 17, 2017
By Yogalife

New cancer treatment may be more effective than chemotherapy

According to a report in The Independent, a newly discovered process to trigger the death of cancer cells could be more effective than current methods such as chemotherapy, scientists have said. The new method of killing cancer cells, called Caspase Independent Cell Death (CICD), led to the complete eradication of tumours in experimental models. Most current anti-cancer therapies work by killing cancer cells through a process called apoptosis, which activates proteins called caspases, leading to cell death. However, in apoptosis, therapies often fail to kill all cancer cells, leading to disease recurrence, and can also have unwanted side effects that may even promote cancer. Scientists from the University of Glasgow wanted to develop a way to improve therapy that induces cancer cell killing while also mitigating unwanted toxicity. “Especially under conditions of partial therapeutic response, our data suggests that triggering tumour-specific CICD, rather than apoptosis, may be a more effective way to treat cancer,” Dr Stephen Tait, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, from the Institute of Cancer Sciences, said. When cancer cells die through CICD, they alert the immune system through the release of inflammatory proteins. The immune system can then attack the remaining tumour cells that evaded initial therapy-induced death. Dr Tait added: “Taking into consideration our findings, we propose that engaging CICD as a means of anti-cancer therapy warrants further investigation.”


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