by Pete Davignon
reprinted with permission from Senior Softball News
New Studies Aid in Fight Against Cancer
Spring 2019 Edition
A 10-minute test that can detect cancer cells anywhere in the body has been developed by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia.
They discovered that cancer forms a unique DNA structure when placed in water.
A portable, inexpensive test could help detect cancer far sooner than current methods, according to the authors of the study.
They used the test on more than 200 tissue and blood samples and found that it was 90 percent accurate in detecting cancerous cells.
The University of Queensland worked closely with Northwestern University which made the discovery of microRNA.
"Based on what we have learned in studies, we can now design artificial microRNAs that are much more powerful in killing cancer cells than even the ones developed by nature," said lead author Marcus E. Peter, professor of Cancer Metabolism at Northwestern University.
"Now that we know the kill code, we can trigger the mechanism without having to use chemotherapy and without messing with the genome. We can use these small RNAs directly, introduce them into cells and trigger the kill switch," sand Peter.
Cancer can't adapt or become resistant to the toxic RNAs making it a potentially bulletproof treatment if the kill code can be synthetically duplicated. The inability of cancer cells to develop resistance to the molecules is a first, the scientists said.
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We may finally be winning the battle to turn what once was a deadly diagnosis into a disease that can be controlled and cured. Immuno-therapies and gene-targeting drugs are changing the course of some cancers.
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