Over the years, the average life span of human beings has increased thanks to the advancements made in medical science. The medical fraternity through continuous focus on research and development has been making efforts to enhance the quality of life, in addition to longevity.
Such efforts bear fruit from time to time as they cater to addressing different medical conditions. A latest study carried out by researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia promises to tackle cancer, the debilitating medical condition.
Targets Protein Structures
The latest finding in the domain of cancer management is protein based treatment. This new class of drugs has the potency to target protein structures, called tropomyosin, and thus annihilate cancer internally.
“Our drug causes the structure of the cancer cell to collapse – and it happens relatively quickly. We’ve been surprised and excited by the potential of this treatment,” Professor Peter Gunning from UNSW, who is the lead author of the study, said.
The initial research, conducted on animals, has confirmed the efficacy of the drug, called TR100, in two types of cancers; neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that primarily affects children, and melanoma, the cancer of the skin. Neuroblastoma is categorized as a hard-to-treat cancer given that the survival rates are as low as 40 percent.
Better Quality of Life
“Attacking the architecture of the cancer cell has long been an obvious target, but until now, attempts have failed because the building blocks of the structure of the cancer cell are also used to build the heart and muscle, so the toxicity was unacceptable,” Dr Justine Stehn from the Oncology Research Unit and the first author of the paper said.
The study findings are of monumental importance as they could herald a new era of chemotherapy, which will not only have better outcomes in hard-to-treat cancers, but will also, bestow a better quality of life on the patients due to fewer side effects.
The new treatment will be subjected to clinical trials in 2015.