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Salk Scientists Discover Chemotherapy Pathway

Video

Salk Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Chemotherapy

Aired 3/13/12 on KPBS News.

New findings could lead to cancer treatment with a cocktail of medicines rather than massive doses of traditional chemotherapy.

Salk scientists have made a discovery that may make the treatment of cancer more effective. The researchers say they've found the molecular pathway that shows how chemotherapy drugs work. That may make it possible to treat cancer with a cocktail of medicines rather than just the massive doses of poison involved in chemotherapy.

Jan Karlseder and Makoto Hayashi found that chemotherapy drugs can more specifically target cancer cells, killing them more effectively. They determined that cancer drugs damage the telomere, or chromosome cap. This sends out a stress response that kills the cell.

There is a category of drugs that target stress response. The hypothesis is that these drugs could be utilized in conjunction with much smaller doses of traditional chemotherapy.

"Basically, you're hitting the same cell from two different directions. And hopefully that will increase the chance of killing all of the cancer cells," said Karlseder.

Testing is under way to discover if this would minimize the side effects of chemotherapy while increasing the effectiveness of cancer treatment. The potential treatment is still in its research stage.

Comments

Avatar image for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 13, 2012 at 12:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Interesting article.

Precision Medicine and microbiology targeting specific cells tailored at specific diseases is indeed the future of healthcare.

It's great we have this research going on right in our backyard.

THIS is the type of thing we need to concentrate on in our nation in order to compete globally, we need to be the leader in these kinds of discoveries.

Great work!!

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