There`s good news in the offing! Great news, in fact. Researchers say that they`ve discovered a `master switch` which could turn off cancer for good.
The switch they`re talking about is a protein that can make the cancer cells self-destruct.
The newly discovered protein is called CUGBP2. In a test tube experiment, it was found that this protein could attach itself to cancer cells and make them destroy themselves.
Heading this research team in The Washington University is an Indian - Shrikant Anant. The scientists feel they have cause for celebration. This could finally lead to a therapy that would inhibit various kinds of cancer.
CUGBP2 is cytidine-uridine-guanosine binding protein. It has a lot of uses - but the most important one is that it causes cancer cells to die.
Each cell has a built in ability to self-destruct when their time is up. Cancerous cells are those cells that have lost this ability. Instead of dying, they continue to keep growing and this causes tumours.
Tumours build up an enzyme known as Cox-2. Cox 2 helps cancer cells grow new blood vessels and get bigger. Drugs that inhibit Cox 2 inhibitors seem to slow down the growth of cancer to a limited extent.
But CUGBP2, on the other hand, seems to kill more than 70% of the cancer. It stops the Cox 2 gene altogether.
This scientific finding is a major step for mankind if results continue to be successful. The growth and spread of cancer can be stopped successfully.
These findings were recently published in the medical journal Molecular Cell.