Science in Practice Articles

A Novel Way to Tackle Cancer?

Close-up image of a T-Lymphocyte and Cancer Cell

An international team of scientists have found an innovative way to tackle cancer using a “broad spectrum” approach. Current treatment options for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Recently, many anti-cancer treatments have been discovered. However these are usually specific for particular mutations found in certain types of cancer and so are not appropriate when treating all cancers. In addition, these particular types of anti-cancer treatments can be highly toxic and the tumours may develop resistance to these expensive medications.

The researchers involved in this study have identified the most common mechanisms and pathways involved in tumour growth and spread. In doing this they hope to provide opportunities for cheaper and less harmful treatment to be developed, that can be used in the management of a variety of cancers, i.e. a ‘broad spectrum’ approach.

The research teams involved in this study reviewed the characteristics which explain how tumours progress. This was followed by identifying certain targets against which treatment could be directed. The conclusions drawn from this study show that a broad spectrum approach could be a safe and effective alternative to conventional cancer treatment. This research has provided a stepping stone for further research and development of other alternative anti-cancer treatments.

 

By Sabena Ali

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