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Scottish Scientists Test ‘Secret Weapon’ Against,Tumours

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.

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