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Search and destroy cancer cells with epigenetics


Scientists in Cambridge are developing a potentially life-saving new way of finding and killing cancer cells.

Using the field of epigenetics - the way the body’s cells control which genes are off or on – it is possible to identify proteins in the body that determine a cancer cells fate, whether it grows or not, and destroy them.

Cambridge firm CellCentric are working with leading scientists in epigenetics to try to exploit this new technology.

Cancer spreads through out of control cell replication. By controlling this it is possible to halt the rapid growth of cancer cells and keep the disease at bay.

CellCentric have already identified several proteins that are related to epigenetic processes and can be used to target and destroy cancer cells and molecules that can influence cells and therefore could be developed to battle cancer cells replicating.

The company have received further investment of £400,000 from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), and other funders.

They will use this investment to research and discover further proteins and molecules that can be used to find target and destroy cancer cells.

Mark White, Director of Invention and Innovation, said:

“This is a big step forward in the war on cancer. Epigenetics could re-write the rule book on how we treat the disease, and Cellcentric is in the best possible position to commercialise new ideas from the science. NESTA’s investment and support, combined with CellCentric’s network of world class epigenetics researchers, means that the company is in pole position to exploit this exciting and new field.”

Joseph Meaney | alfa
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