Fast-growing cancers are exceptionally hungry. Their cells commander all the glucose and other nutrients they can get. They will even stimulate new blood vessels to grow into to tumor to increase the amount of nourishment they get.
When all else fails, cancer cells feed on their other components, breaking down nonessential substances and recycling them in order to stay alive. This process if called autophagy.
Researchers have discovered a new cancer strategy to stop autophagy and render cancer more vulnerable.
The small molecule now being tested has been demonstrated in the lab to essentially block off the start of autophagy.
At the moment there are animal trials underway, which will hopefully confirm effectiveness. The results are anticipated to be discussed in an upcoming paper one the findings are in.
Drugs can work perfectly inside a tube, like a purified enzyme. But when they are transplanted into cells, there are complicating circumstances. They don’t get into the cell well, or there is off target effects. There are all these complication once the drug leaves the test tube and goes into the cell.
The goal of the study is to develop a drug that cancer patients can take along with other therapies in order to reduce the options cancers use to survive. Hitting a cancer with an autophagy combo will reduce blood vessel growth to the tumor and impede it from turning into autophagy in order to compensate.
Researchers have been working on this new method for more than a year and have developed a number of new ways to study this enzyme inside cells.