Killing All Cancer Cells
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Among the best approaches to beating cancer is to use the body’s own resources. Now one of these may just lead to a cancer cure. It aims to kill any cancer cell, anywhere in the body, with potentially no side effects.

Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered that all cells have a kill code that triggers cell suicide when they become cancerous. Today, chemotherapy is used in cancer to signal all dividing cells in the body to self-destruct which means even some healthy cells die. But researchers in this study found the code that tells only cancer cells to die.

The kill code is within molecules called si or mi-RNAs. These are small RNAs, or ribonucleic acids, that regulate how messenger RNAs are used. Messenger RNAs come from the DNA and are vital especially in the production of proteins.To find the kill code, the study looked at sequences of just six nucleotides in mi-RNAs.

Nucleotides are the building blocks of RNA and DNA. Within over four thousand possible combinations in these six nucleotides, researchers isolated the most toxic one to cancer cells. They were able to effectively kill cancer cells in the lab. The researchers also found that the gene for a protein called, Fas Ligand, makes these mi-RNAs. Its messenger RNA is chopped into small mi-RNAs and are potent cancer killers. Amazingly, about three percent of our genome produces messenger RNAs that can be processed into these little killers. The next step is designing ways to deliver them into cancer cells in the body.

Even though this is years away from being viable, it’s tempting to hope that a universal cancer therapy is possible.

For more information…

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