A groundbreaking „cancer-killing pill“ has been demonstrated to eradicate breast, prostate, brain, ovarian, cervical, skin and lung cancer tumours — while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Scientists at City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organisations in the United States, have made a groundbreaking discovery in the fight against cancer. Researchers have developed a „cancer-killing pill“ that uses „targeted chemotherapy“ to combat solid tumours after two decades of meticulous research and development.
Scientists have made a breakthrough against the protein proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Cancer repair and growth are aided by a mutated form of PCNA. AOH1996, a molecule designed by researchers, targets and kills the mutated PCNA.
AOH1996 has shown promise in preclinical research, effectively treating a wide range of cancers, including breast, prostate, brain, ovarian, cervical, skin, and lung cancers.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
The study, which was published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology, examined the protein in over 70 cancer cell lines. The results? AOH1996 neutralised cancer cells selectively by „disrupting the normal cell reproductive cycle.“ These findings encourage scientists to move the clinical trial to the next stage, human testing.
Dr Linda Malkas, professor in City of Hope’s Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics, explains that „Data suggests PCNA is uniquely altered in cancer cells,“ she continues, „and this fact allowed us to design a drug that targeted only the form of PCNA in cancer cells.“
Dr Malkas likens PCNA to a bustling airport terminal hub with numerous gates for planes. As a result, the disruption caused by this protein can be compared to a snowstorm that shuts down a major airline hub, causing all flights to be halted.
The enormous future potential of this „cancer-killing pill“ lies in „shutting down all flights in and out only in planes carrying cancer cells,“ Dr Malkas adds. Meaning the blockade only affects planes transporting cancer cells, leaving the rest unaffected.
Dr Long Gu, the study’s lead author and an associate research professor in the Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics, explains why you haven’t heard of PCNA. „No one has ever targeted PCNA as a therapeutic because it was viewed as ‚undruggable,'“ Dr Gu said.
However, the ‚impossible‘ narrative is being rewritten. What the team has achieved is comparable to a health revolution. „The results have been promising,“ Dr Gu said. AOH1996 has been shown in cell and animal models to inhibit tumour growth as a single agent or as part of a combination treatment. The icing on the cake? This is accomplished without causing toxicity.
This experimental chemotherapeutic is currently being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial in humans at City of Hope. The researchers discovered that PCNA could be one of the catalysts for increased nucleic acid replication errors in cancer cells. They now have a target to inhibit thanks to this new discovery.
„Now that we know the problem area and can inhibit it, we will dig deeper to understand the process to develop more personalized, targeted cancer medicines,“ Dr Gu added.