Each day, normal human cell tissues express a protein known as p53 that wages war against potential malignancies. However, between 30 and 40 percent of human breast cancers express a defective (mutant) form of p53 that helps cancer cells proliferate and grow. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that combining a cancer therapy, which activates mutant p53 and is currently under a clinical trial, with a second drug therapy that helps suppress tumor blood vessels found in cancer cells, can help significantly reduce the spread of breast cancer tumors while also causing cancer cell death.
In a majority of breast cancer cases, a mutated p53 protein exists. Mutated p53 plays a key role in promoting tumor cells and helps in the development of blood vessels that supply oxygen and other nutrients the tumor needs to grow. However, a specific molecule known as APR-246, which is the drug currently under a human clinical trial, has the ability to restore p53 function giving the body the tools it needs to fight cancer.
“In order to effectively treat tumors, therapeutics are being developed that target mutant proteins that help grow cancer cells; APR-246 is one of those drugs,” said
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