New Cancer Treatment Drugs Will Target Receptors of the Malignant Cells
Cancer is one of the dreadful diseases all over the world. It is caused by the harmful affects of Cancerous cells on healthy cells of our body. Initially, the attack of the malignant cells is concentrated to a particular region of our body. But these harmful cells have the ability to quickly multiply in large numbers and bind together forming lumps of cancer cells called tumours. Once tumours are formed in a particular location of the body, the attack of these cells intensify on an organ. If the disease is diagnosed even at this stage, treatment techniques like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can save the life of the patient.
In the next stage of attack, cancer cells spread to other remote corners of the body by flowing through the blood stream. This process is called Metastasis. It is the reason why most cancer patients die. The symptoms of cancer mostly remain latent until this stage. They become apparent once Metastasis commences. The disease cannot be cured after this stage. Unfortunately, the inevitable death can only be delayed.
Scientists in the recent times have been trying to understand the mechanism of Metastasis. Early research findings are reporting that there is an important role of cell receptors in the process of Metastasis. Receptors are the components on either the surface or inside the cells. They generate, send and receive signals with which cells communicate with each other. Blocking is communication between the receptors has only been considered as a possible cancer treatment technique. This blockade hampers the growth of cancer cells and formation of tumours.
Another report published by the researchers of Baylor College of Medicine, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has something more to offer. The researchers have found that it is beneficial if a particular group of receptors called COUP-TFII are absent all together in cancer treatment. The role of this receptors are prominent only at the time of birth and play no role for the rest of the life in adults.
Experiments done by researchers have found that these receptors are directly responsible for providing nourishment to the cancer cells. They do so with the help of a chemical called Angiopoietin-1. It generates new pathways or blood vessels for the continuous supply of oxygen and nourishment to the cancer cells. This process is technically called Angiogenesis. When the cells do not contain COUP-TFII receptors, this chemical cannot perform its job of tumour growth and cancer cell nourishment properly. The efforts of the research team now, is to discover chemicals which can inhibit the activities of these receptors.