Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
The fight against cancer has gained some traction in recent years. However, the disease seems to be fighting back even more aggressively. Cancer victims have been dying at a faster rate than ever before. Luckily, a group of scientists have found a way to ensure a longer lifespan for those suffering from the disease.
A Lifechanging Discovery
Down in Melbourne, Australia, researchers have been working for nearly a decade to find an alternative to radiation treatment. With Associate Professor Anne Voss and Associate Professor Tim Thomas at the helm, they managed to develop a new drug. This creation diminishes KAT6A and KAT6B proteins, which increase the rate of cancer growth.
“Early on, we discovered that genetically depleting KAT6A quadrupled the life expectancy in animal models of blood cancers called lymphoma. Armed with the knowledge that KAT6A is an important driver of cancer, we began to look for ways of inhibiting the protein to treat cancer,” Thomas said in the study.
A Successful Experiment
In order to see if this drug works effectively, they used it on mice. Over time, they saw a slowdown of cancer growth in these small creatures.
“The drugs were well tolerated in our preclinical models and are very potent against tumour cells, while appearing not to adversely affect healthy cells,” Thomas said.
Hitting Shelves Soon?
Unlike chemotherapy and radiation treatment, these drugs won’t cause harmful side effects. Those taking it won’t have to worry about hair loss or destroyed DNA strands.
For people hoping this amazing creation gets released soon, you’ll be waiting a while longer. Just like other drugs, it will take years for it to be approved by the FDA. For now, they’ll be doing more tests to see if anything needs to be tweaked. “It’s very important that we make sure the treatment is safe, and so we need to do a lot of safety and efficacy studies before we can say that this is ready to be rolled out in clinics,” Thomas said.