Scientists trying out new ways to trick cancer cellsAugust 13th, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 13 (IANS) Chemists are trying out news ways to trick cancer cells into dropping their guard, like using ruthenium, a metal, as a a catalyst, which enlists the help of oxidants for the purpose. Cancer adapts to traditional drugs which attack infected cells directly. However, latest lab tests reveal a second line of defence using ruthenium as a catalyst to a reaction which stops cells developing anti-oxidant chemical glutathione.
As the targeted cell is forced to drop its glutathione defences, the oxidant levels increase, causing the death of the cancerous cell.
University of Warwick’s Peter Sadler explained “we know oxidants produce free radicals that damage cells. Our experiments show ruthenium produces a reaction in the cell which destroys its anti-oxidant defence glutathione - thus destroying the cancer-infected cell.
“Working with colleagues in Edinburgh University and Oncosense, we’ve proved this could be an effective line of defence against cancer.”
Scientists working on the project now hope to move the research out of the lab - the next stage for this work would be medical trials.
These findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
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