Market Desk (science): The synthetic DNA triggers a natural immune response in cancer cells that kills them and prevents the further growth of cancerous tissue.
A completely new approach to cancer treatments has been developed by researchers from the University of Tokyo, Japan and it could bring about a new era of drug development. It involves artificial, hairpin-shaped strands of DNA that react with specific microRNA that are over-produced in cancer cells, triggering a natural immune response. In lab tests, the technique was found to be effective against malignant melanoma cells from mice as well as human breast and cervical cancer derived cells.
The head of the research team and the group leader of the Biomedicine Department, Professor Bentierres-Alz, said that they can now transform breast cancer cells to normal and prevent their growth. Their new treatment approach has also provided promising results in aggressive types such as triple negative breast cancer. As a result, it is not necessary to kill cancer cells in this method.
The research team tested more than 9,500 compounds in cell therapy and found kinase-1, an inhibitor of the protein responsible for the cancer cell cycle. The compounds used in this study are also in clinical trials for other treatments, the researchers said.
In their study, however, Prof. Okamoto and his colleagues synthesized a pair of hairpin-shaped, cancer-killing pieces of DNA dubbed “oHPs” that work by triggering a natural immune response and only target specific cancer cells.