Scientists have uncovered a completely new way to make cancers sensitive to treatment – by targeting antenna-like structures on cells.
Their study found that drug-resistant cancer cells have more and longer antennae than those which are killed by treatment.
Blocking the growth of antennae reactivated a range of cancer treatments that had stopped working, the team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found.
The researchers identified changes in cellular antennae known as cilia in different types of cancer cells with resistance to various types of drugs. That suggests that targeting cilia could be a universal way to resensitise cancers to treatment.
The study is published today (Tuesday) in the journal Cell Reports, and was supported by funders including Sarcoma UK, the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) – a research institution and charity – studied cells from lung cancer and a soft-tissue cancer called sarcoma in the lab.
The researchers observed that cells that had become resistant to cancer drugs had more, longer cilia – tiny ‘antennae’ that help cells sense chemical signals.
They then blocked the growth of cilia in drug-resistant cancer cells, and found that their sensitivity to
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