Scientists researching cancer believe that they have identified what they call the Achilles’ Heel of the tumors caused by cancer, this apparently forces the disease-spreading cells to some how over-stress and then self-destruct. Experimental tests have showed that the blocking of a specific protein which feeds the tumors will eventually kill them off. This technique has been successfully tested on a range of human forms of the deadly disease and also mice that had blood and bowel cancer.
The amazing thing about this breakthrough is that there are drugs that already exist that can block the chemical called ATF4, this gives a glimmer of hope for the fast-tracking of a revolutionary therapy. According to Professor Constantinos Koumenis, a co-senior author, ‘What we’ve learned is we need to go further downstream to block tumor growth in a way that cancer cells can’t easily escape, and our study identifies the target to do just that.’ His team said it ‘may be its Achilles’ Heel’.
On a daily basis there are millions of cells in our body that sacrifice themselves to help protect us from potentially harmful ones. However, cancer cells, completely ignore our body immune system’s cell-death signals and to find a way to stop this is the considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of cancer research.