Catalysts which cause cancer cells to commit suicide have been developed in the laboratory by West Country scientists.
The research groups of Dr Claus Jacob, of Exeter University and Dr Nicholas Gutowski at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, with support from the Peninsula Medical School, are investigating the anti-cancer effects of biocatalysts that mimic the activity of the human selenium enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. Their work opens up a very promising new direction for anti-cancer research, but both stress that any potential treatment for sufferers is still many years away.
Dr Jacob, of the Universitys School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, explained: The catalysts work by initiating reactions inside the cancer cell that cause it to destroy itself. In effect, the cancer commits
suicide. One of the benefits of this approach is that the drugs target only the diseased cells.
Claus Jacob | alfa
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