Navigation Links
Scottish Scientists Test ‘Secret Weapon’ Against,Tumours

LONDON, March 8, 2007--Cancer Research UK scientists in Glasgow have devised a new method of attacking cancer cells. They report the findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation* today (Thursday).

A team of scientists from the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research gave mice a chemical that caused cancer cells to commit suicide, significantly slowing the growth of the tumours they were carrying. The chemical kick started a gene called p73 that brings about cancer cell death.

This early research could pave the way for a new agent to stop tumours growing. The researchers suggest that sending the protein – called 37AA – directly into the bloodstream using a ‘nanoparticle’ delivery system could be a potential way to find and kill tumour cells that have spread as well as those in the primary tumour.

In further laboratory studies the research team found that the chemical could kill several types of cancer cells – including bowel, cervical and bone cells.

Lead researcher Dr Kevin Ryan, a Cancer Research UK senior research fellow and head of the Tumour Cell Death Laboratory at the Beatson Institute, said: “Our study has shown for the first time that the selective activation of a gene called p73 can cause cell death in tumours. We think this approach has the potential to be developed into an effective treatment for cancer.”

The gene p73 is related to p53 – one of the most important genes known to protect against the development of cancer. p53, known as the ‘guardian of the genome’, was first identified by Cancer Research UK scientists in London.

p53 is damaged in the vast majority of cancers so scientists across the globe are looking for ways to restore the gene as a way of treating the disease. However, in some cancers, p53 is damaged in such a way that its function cannot be restored. p73 is a promising alternativ e target because it is rarely defective in human cancers.

Dr Ryan added: “Previously we thought p73 was just a ‘sleeping partner’ of p53, so we’re really excited that we’ve found a way to harness its function to treat cancer. While our studies are still at a preliminary stage, the next phase of our work is going to focus on developing a drug that mimics the effect of the 37AA protein. We hope this strategy could then be more readily tested for its potential development in human tumours.”

Professor Jim Cassidy, Cancer Research UK’s chair of medical oncology in Scotland said: “This fascinating piece of basic research has resulted in an experimental treatment that can cause malignant tumours to stop growing. In laboratory tests it killed a range of different cancer cells. We look forward to seeing if switching on p73 can translate into a treatment for patients.”

For media enquiries, please contact Emma Gilgunn-Jones in the press office on 020 7061 8311, or, out of hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editors:

*A novel p53-derived apoptotic peptide de-represses p73 to cause tumor regression in vivo. Helen S. Bell et al, 2007. Journal of Clinical Investigation.

This research was funded by Cancer Research UK with support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Cancer Research UK - Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer. - Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer. - Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients. - Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.

- C ancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit


Related medicine technology :

1. Rosetta Genomics and Weizmann Institute Scientists Identify Role of microRNA in Cancer Suppression
2. Schepens Scientists Identify Key to Integrating Transplanted Nerve Cells Into Injured Tissue
3. Karmanos Physician-Scientists Examine Racial Disparities in Patients with Gynecologic Cancer
4. Scientists Implicate Gene in Vitiligo and Other Autoimmune Diseases
5. The Sturdier Sex?: Study by Pittsburgh Scientists Finds Female Stem Cells Work Better
6. Alnylam and Stanford University Scientists Discover New Role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in T Cell Biology and Immunity
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... Biologics License Application (BLA) with the United ... for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma ... planned investment of at least $15.8  Million to ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will ... to meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s ... office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together ... open solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical ... professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . ... of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first ... annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International ... November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... and wellness consultation, has collaborated with Women’s Web – an online resource ... on topics on mental and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, stress, professional ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast cancers found with ... according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said that ... necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the most sensitive technique ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The holiday ... dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether ... a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):