Novel Cancer Drug Can Inhibit Survival Mechanism of Tumor

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New research reports that medication targets a specific enzyme that fuels the spread of tumors. Cancer drug is in development that could stop the disease in its tracks.  

European study found that the drug does this by binding to the membrane of rapidly multiplying cells. It inhibits survival mechanism and prevents tumors from attaching to the protein. A total of 357,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK annually. The findings of this study were published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology in January 2018.

The anti-cancer drug binds to tumor membrane protein, known as dehydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). The researchers analyzed the mode of binding for fats and drugs to DHODH. Study author Dr Erik Marklund, from Uppsala University explained ‘Our simulations show the enzyme uses a few lipids as anchors in the membrane. ‘When binding to these lipids, a small part of the enzyme folds into an adapter that allows the enzyme to lift its natural out of the membrane. It seems the drug, since it binds in the same place, takes advantage of the same mechanism.’

This drug has Potential for more selective treatments Study author Sir David Lane, from the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden, added: ‘The study helps to explain why some drugs bind differently to isolated proteins and proteins that are inside cells. ‘By studying the native structures and mechanisms for cancer targets, it may become possible to exploit their most distinct features to design new, more selective therapeutics.’

According to Targeted Cancer Therapies Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, targeted cancer therapies are drugs which block the growth and proliferation of cancer by interfering with specific molecules such as DNA or proteins, which are involved in the growth or expansion of cancerous cells. This drug is expected to inhibit the tumor proliferation by binding to the membrane of cancerous cells. However, it is unclear when the drug could be available in market.

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