It has been revealed that beating cancer may be able aided by cutting off vital nutrients which allow the disease to grow.
Researchers have found a key route which cancer cells manipulate in order to obtain these nutrients. There is hope that this discovery will allow for new treatments which halt this manipulation resulting in the stopping of tumour growth.
The research was conducted at The Australian National University and have been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The researchers blocked gateways which the cancer was obtaining the amino acid glutamine through and found the cells to almost completely stop growing.
Professor Stefan Bröer, who led the study, said: 'This is likely to work in a wide range of cancers, because it is a very common mechanism in cancer cells. Better still, this should lead to chemotherapy with much less serious side-effects, as normal cells do not use glutamine as a building material. Crucial white blood cells, which current treatments damage, could be spared, and it could cut out the hair loss that chemotherapy causes.'
Professor Bröer commented that they expected this approach to be less prone to resistance than other current treatments. She added that the team 'have developed a set of tests, which make it very easy to determine if a drug is targeting glutamine transporters. This means we can set robots to work that will test tens of thousands of drugs for us over the next year or two.'
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