- A potential game-changer in cancer treatment has been revealed: a drug that specifically targets all solid tumors while sparing healthy cells.
- The drug, developed by the City of Hope Hospital, zeroes in on a protein once deemed ‘undruggable’.
- As optimism around cancer cures grows, this breakthrough serves as a beacon of hope, with Phase 1 clinical trials already in progress.
Scientists have heralded a potential game-changer in the battle against cancer with the development of a new drug that specifically targets all solid cancer tumors, sparing healthy cells.
This significant breakthrough homes in on a protein associated with cancer growth, previously deemed ‘undruggable’.
The City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles, a prominent American cancer center, unveiled this pill after two decades of intensive research.
The drug’s codename, AOH1996, pays tribute to Anna Olivia Healy, a young cancer victim who inspired Dr. Linda Malkas, the lead researcher, to seek out this cure.
The revelation of this new drug’s efficacy comes at a time when optimism around cancer treatments is surging. Many believe a cure may be within reach in the next decade.
This optimism is also aligned with President Joe Biden’s ambitious Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to slash the cancer death rate by half in the next quarter-century.
However, Biden recently faced criticism for prematurely suggesting his administration had “ended cancer as we know it.”
Published in the Cell Chemical Biology journal, the study indicates that the drug was successful against over 70 cancer cell lines.
Its unique mechanism involves disrupting the typical reproductive cycle of these cells, ceasing the duplication of flawed DNA and allowing the cancerous cells to self-destruct, all while leaving healthy cells unscathed.
The drug is presently undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials at City of Hope.
Dr. Malkas emphasized the pill’s potential as a formidable opponent to cancer, stating that it effectively targets the PCNA variant in cancer cells, disrupting DNA replication and tumor repair.
The broader scientific community has lauded City of Hope’s progress, noting the particular significance of their success given the once-held belief that the PCNA protein was “undruggable”.
Dr. Long Gu, a co-author of the study, celebrated their groundbreaking achievement, highlighting that the investigational pill could pave the way for advanced combination therapies and novel chemotherapeutic agents.
As the research evolves, the team remains focused on refining their understanding of the drug’s action to further enhance its clinical trials.
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