Scientist Believe they have the Ability to 'Turn Off Cancer'
Although there may not be a “cure” for cancer, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Florida believe they have found a way to stop, and even reverse cancer cell growth. In a recent study these researchers made an amazing discovery: there is a way to stop cancerous cells from multiplying uncontrollably. According to Dr.Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, “We have found a new mechanism by which normal cells undergo transition to become tumorigenic.”
In Anastasiadis’ own words, this is “an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer”
The process involves delivering microRNA molecules to cancerous cells. These biological microprocessors are responsible for controlling the “glue” that hold cells together. MicroRNA uses a very specific protein (PLEKHA7) to regulate cell growth. The breakthrough came when the researchers figured out that if you denied cells the microRNA they would become cancerous, and start growing abnormally. The process also works the other way around – if you introduced the microRNA to cancerous cells, they would return to normal. “These [cancer] cells are already missing PLEKHA7. Restoring either PLEKHA7 levels, or the levels of miRNAs in these cells turns them back to a benign state,” Anastasiadis said, “I think for therapy it is very important because it shows the way we can turn cancerous cells back to a more normal state.”