New breakthrough in the fight against cancer. According to a new scientific study, an experimental drug has the ability to block a gene responsible for the growth of many tumors.
Will the fight against cancer soon be history? If that probability revealed more of a sci-fi movie so far, a new discovery might just be a game-changer. Researchers have recently made a major breakthrough. In particular, they discovered that an experimental drug had the ability to block a gene responsible for the growth of many tumors.
Specifically, the treatment, known as OMO-103, works by suppressing MYC, which orchestrates messages telling a cell to divide. To understand its potentially beneficial effect on the disease, the scientists used a dozen patients with various forms of hard-to-treat cancer. And to their surprise, the drug was able to stop tumor growth in eight of them. Among them, two had pancreatic cancer, three had colon cancer while the others had lung cancer, sarcoma and salivary gland cancer respectively.
As for the adverse side effects associated with the treatment, the researchers did not find any serious ones. They noted mild reactions to the intravenous infusion such as chills, fever, nausea, skin rash and low blood pressure.
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“These are very exciting results”
“MYC is one of the most sought-after targets in cancer because it plays a key role in the development of many common human cancers,” explained Dr. Elena Garralda, director of the early drug development unit at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, recalling that to date “no drug that inhibits MYC has been approved for clinical use”.
These first discoveries are a promising sign that an innovative treatment could soon see the light of day. For Dr Lawrence Young, an oncologist at the University of Warwick in the UK, “These are very exciting results, but it’s still early days.”
According to information disclosed by Public Health France, the cancer responsible for the highest number of cancer deaths in men remains lung cancer (23,000). Next come colorectal and prostate cancers (9,000 and 8,000 respectively). In women, these are breast (12,000), lung (10,000) and colorectal (8,000) cancers.
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