Australian scientists have discovered a new type of drug that can revolutionize the current way of treating cancer. The drug does not kill cancer cells, but leaves them in a dormant state that prevents the disease from progressing and with a crucial advantage: it has no side effects.
The discovery has just been published in Medical Express and consists of a drug that inhibits two types of protein called KAT6A and KAT6B. Both are closely related to tumor development and are considered two of the main growth engines in cancer cells.
By applying a treatment that inhibits the formation of these proteins, researchers have quadrupled the life expectancy in animals affected by lymphoma, one of the most lethal tumor types. The first tests in the laboratory have also shown very encouraging results.
No cell damage
The new treatment does not destroy cancer cells, but deactivates them. What it does, to explain it in some way, is to put the illness to sleep permanently, preventing it from developing or reactivating after its elimination.
The great advantage of this new drug is that it does not have the brutal side effects of radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Current treatments are based on substances that destroy the DNA of cancer cells. The problem is that it is not easy to target these cancer cells and often destroy healthy cells as well, which leads to all kinds of unpleasant side effects.
The discoverers of the drug are enthusiastic, but point out that it is still necessary to continue researching and conducting clinical trials in humans before the drug reaches hospitals. Its greatest use may be in permanently preventing the reappearance of cancer after its elimination.