According to a researcher, successful prevention of a certain protein from doing its job can keep a type of ovarian cancer cell from spreading and dividing uncontrollably in a lab.
The said research was published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Research. It said the research team had identified the protein as a potential therapeutic target for high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells. Approximately 70 percent of patients with this type of ovarian cancer relapse with the chemo-resistant disease, increasing the need for new approaches to treatment.
Katherine Aird, one of the researchers of this study had also identified a potential method to put high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells in a “sleep state” called senescence. Katherine Aird, the other researcher of the study in her lab, has identified a potential method to put high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells in a "sleep state" called senescence. "One of the biggest problems of cancer cells is they can grow forever without stimulus. By inducing senescence, the cells can no longer divide and grow," said Aird.
"Many therapies target glycolysis, but that may not be the best approach," Dahl said. She noted that often when targeting glycolysis, there could be toxic damage to normal, and healthy tissue.
"The Food and Drug Administration has already approved a drug that targets the mutant form of the protein. One of the drugs that target the mutant form can also target the wildtype form. One of our long-term goals is to try and repurpose this already-approved drug as a treatment for this form of ovarian cancer," Aird said.
The team also found that inhibition of the wildtype form of the protein could be an effective strategy for further therapies for all stages of high-grade serous ovarian cancer. When these cells spread to other parts of the body, they adopt a form that is different from the original cancer cells.
"It is important that therapies are effective at later stages, as this is when ovarian cancer patients are typically diagnosed," said Dahl.