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A new way to fight cancer: the silver shield
Date:3/31/2008

not need to be perfect, Longo said. What matters is the difference in stress resistance between healthy and cancerous cells.

During the study, conducted both at USC and in the laboratory of Lizzia Raffaghello at Gaslini Childrens Hospital in Genoa, Italy, the researchers found that current chemotherapy drugs kill as many healthy mammalian cells as cancer cells.

(But) we reached a two to five-fold difference between normal and cancer cells, including human cells in culture. More importantly, we consistently showed that mice were highly protected while cancer cells remained sensitive, Longo said.

If healthy human cells were just twice as resistant as cancer cells, oncologists could increase the dose or frequency of chemotherapy.

We were able to reach a 1,000-fold differential resistance using a tumor model in bakers yeast. If we get to just a 10-20 fold differential toxicity with human metastatic cancers, all of a sudden its a completely different game against cancer, Longo said.

Now we need to spend a lot of time talking to clinical oncologists to decide how to best proceed in the human studies.

Edith Gralla, a research professor of chemistry at UCLA, said: It is the sort of opposite of the magic bullet. Its the magic shield.


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Contact: Carl Marziali
marziali@usc.edu
213-740-4751
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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