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jAZ
08-28-2006, 05:21 PM
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=00050D07-6D22-14EF-AD2283414B7F0000

SCIENCE NEWS
August 28, 2006
New Compound Causes Cancer Cell Suicide

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Suicide is the regular mode of cell death. When cells reach the end of their useful life, internal mechanisms kick in and the cell automatically perishes, a process known as apoptosis. But in cancer cells this mechanism has often been genetically disabled or otherwise broken, allowing tumors to proliferate. Now researchers have found a way to reactivate programmed cell death and thereby treat cancer.
In preparation for apoptosis, a chain of chemical events takes place in the cell. Near the end, the chemical procaspase-3 is activated. This chemical then transforms into caspase-3--an executioner enzyme that terminates the cell. Chemist Paul Hergenrother of the University of Illinois and an international team of colleagues realized that a compound that activated procaspase-3 might be effective in killing cancer, because many tumors show elevated levels of procaspase despite their inability to complete apoptosis. After screening 20,500 related molecules for this activation ability, the researchers narrowed it down to four likely candidates. Of these, only one showed an increasingly strong effect with increased doses: newly named procaspase activating compound, or PAC-1. "We have identified a small, synthetic compound that directly activates procaspase-3 and induces apoptosis," Hergenrother says. "By bypassing the broken pathway, we can use the cells' own machinery to destroy them."

The researchers tested the efficacy of PAC-1 on colon cancer cells (pictured above) from 23 patients. The tumors had elevated levels of procaspase-3 averaging roughly eight times as much as normal colon cells and proved more sensitive to the compound. In one case, the cancerous cells were 2,000 times more sensitive to PAC-1's enforced apoptosis than were surrounding regular cells due to their increased expression of the enzyme. Further tests in mice proved effective in treating grafted human kidney- and lung-cancer cells, and those results also indicated that PAC-1's strength correlated with procaspase-3 levels in the various cancer cells. "The potential effectiveness of compounds such as PAC-1 could be predicted in advance and patients could be selected for treatment based on the amount of procaspase-3 found in their tumor cells," Hergenrother adds. Nature Chemical Biology published the paper presenting the finding online yesterday. --David Biello

Mr. Laz
08-28-2006, 05:34 PM
cool ....... i guess we can expect to see it around the year 2090 or so?

jAZ
08-28-2006, 05:52 PM
cool ....... i guess we can expect to see it around the year 2090 or so?
Look at the bright side... you'll be able to start going to jail for illegally importing it from the vile pharacies in Canada starting in 2008.

patteeu
08-28-2006, 06:14 PM
cool ....... i guess we can expect to see it around the year 2090 or so?

If the government gets in the way, you're probably right.

StcChief
08-28-2006, 06:30 PM
Yeah diverted the time looking for AIDS vaccine. :)

Frazod
08-28-2006, 06:46 PM
If the government gets in the way, you're probably right.

The government or everybody in the health care industry who'd be financially ruined by an actual cure.

BucEyedPea
08-28-2006, 06:57 PM
The government or everybody in the health care industry who'd be financially ruined by an actual cure.
rep to you and pat

WilliamTheIrish
08-28-2006, 07:10 PM
I read about this almost 5 years ago. Apoptosis has been showing very promising results in lab tests.
I'm lucky in that I get to sit in on a lot of different types of conferences where I work. The discussion of apoptosis was a rather facinating subject.

It should already be in clinical trials, Laz. So, if it soesn't have too many harmful effects, it should be available in our lifetime.

4th and Long
08-28-2006, 08:26 PM
The government or everybody in the health care industry who'd be financially ruined by an actual cure.
Incorrect. Who do you think would dispense this treatment? Who do you think will bill it out by the tens of thousands of dollars per dose?

Sincerely,
The Average Health Care Worker