In the case of Prostate cancerthe development of sickness is characterized by an overproduction ofandrogen hormones. One way to slow the progression of cancer is to lower this rate ofhormone by anti-hormonal therapies. As Interesting Engineering points outthis method works in some patients, but sometimes the cells cancerous cells are resistant to these therapies.
New discoveries made by an international research team led by the Netherlands Cancer Institute could well change the situation.
Experts revealed June 27 in the journal Cancer Discovery “an unexpected potential solution” whose primary goal would not be to fight the cancerbut rather “target proteins that regulate a cell’s circadian rhythm” who is, according to the Canadian Cancer Societya kind “internal clock”.
Go off the beaten track
In other words, they discovered that a certain class of protein which regulates the circadian rhythm could attenuate the effects of hormone treatment. “Prostate cancer cells no longer have a circadian rhythmcomments Wilbert Zwart, one of the authors of the research. However, the proteins of the circadian clock acquire a completely new function in tumor cells during hormonal therapies: they keep these cancer cells alive, despite the treatment.”
Based on tissues from fifty-six patients with advanced prostate cancer who received three months of anti-hormonal treatment, scientists realized that “the genes that kept tumor cells alive were suddenly controlled by a protein that normally regulates the circadian clock”explains researcher Simon Linder, also in the international team.
Specialists will now work hand in hand with the Oncode Institute Dutch in order to find strategies to block this process, “which would increase the effectiveness of anti-hormonal therapy against prostate cancer”.
“Our discovery has shown that we need to think outside the box when it comes to new treatments prostate cancer and testing drugs that affect circadian clock proteinsargues Zwart. There are already several therapies that affect these proteins, and these can be combined with anti-hormonal therapies. This track, which makes it possible to rehabilitate drugs, could save a decade of research.