UC San Francisco researchers have discovered a promising new line of attack against lethal, treatment-resistant prostate cancer. Analysis of hundreds of human prostate tumors revealed that the most aggressive cancers depend on a built-in cellular stress response to put a brake on their own hot-wired physiology. Experiments in mice and with human cells showed that blocking this stress response with an experimental drug — previously shown to enhance cognition and restore memory after brain damage in rodents — causes treatment-resistant cancer cells to self-destruct while leaving normal cells unaffected.
The new study was published online May 2, 2018 in Science Translational Medicine.
“We have learned that cancer cells become ‘addicted’ to protein synthesis to fuel their need for high-speed growth, but this dependence is also a liability: too much protein synthesis can become toxic,” said senior author Davide Ruggero, PhD, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Basic Cancer Research and a professor of urology and cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. “We have discovered the molecular restraints that let cancer cells keep their addiction under control and showed that if we remove these restraints they quickly burn out under the pressure of their own greed for protein.”
“This is beautiful scientific work
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