|Image via Wikipedia, Common Cancers in US in 2008|
Scientists claimed to have discovered a molecule that can kills cancer all together, in fact, it can wipe out some of the most deadly forms of the disease.
A team, led by University of California, says that the drug KG5 works by making cancer cells "commit suicide"; it stops tumorous cells multiplying and then those shut themselves down.
The drug will bring new hope for the patients with aggressive and deadly tumors; and may be available within five years, say the scientists. They hope to deliver it in a pill form, and expect to have a few side effects.
The drug blocks the ability of proliferation and the malignant cells commit suicide when they can't multiply. It has been proved effective against pancreatic, breast and kidney cancers; and can have effect on many other tumors.
KG5 works in a totally different way to traditional therapies by altering the structure of a cancer growth protein, an enzyme known as RAF (A serine/threonine kinase; required for cascade reaction in the cell proliferation).
The protein has been long studied, but its role in cell division - critical to cell proliferation and tumor growth - is a surprise.
Existing treatments block RAF's activity. However, KG5 changes the entire shape of the protein and makes it ineffective without much unwanted side effects. KG5 has been tested in animals and tissue samples taken from patients.
The team has since developed variants of KG5 that are 100-fold more powerful than the original drug. They hope these powerful compounds will enter clinical trials on humans at Moores Cancer Centre in San Diego within 18 months.
Before this drug was designed, the scientists had no idea that RAF could promote tumor cell cycle progression.