- 4 updates
Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said:
Cancer Research UK scientists at the University of Southampton found that a new molecule targets the master switch - HIF-1 - that cancer cells use to adapt to low oxygen levels, a common feature in the disease.
The researchers uncovered a way to stop cancer cells using this switch through an approach called 'synthetic biology'. By testing 3.2 million potential compounds, made by specially engineered bacteria, they were able to find a molecule that stopped HIF-1 from working.
This prevented the cancer cells from responding and surviving.
Dr Ali Tavassoli, a Cancer Research UK scientist whose team discovered and developed the compound at the University of Southampton, said:
Scientists have discovered a new molecule that prevents cancer cells from responding and surviving when starved of oxygen and which could be developed into new treatments for the disease, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.