Stop cancer before it breaks out: researchers now know how that can go

In each cell the potential for renewal, even in cancer cells. That’s what makes them so dangerous, but also vulnerable. Researchers exploit the weaknesses of the individual tumor cells. You want to detect on and off, before the cancer occurs.

Autophagy is a process by which each cell degrades in our body faulty molecules and their chemical components recycled, then again, cellular Recycling, so to speak.

In the past, the Belief was that a functioning self-cleaning also guarantees the cancer cells to Survive. It makes the cells even treatment resistant. Or allows individual tumor cells to survive therapy, to have a rest and a relapse trigger.

Cancer researchers are therefore trying for a long time, Autophagy in tumor cells through inhibiting substances. In studies of the corresponding active substances are tested in parallel to chemotherapy.

Repair mechanism of the cells destroyed cancer cells

Now, cancer researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, have made a completely different discovery: The Autophagy leads to the death of defective cells, which often develop cancer. This could mean that the against the Autophagy-targeted agents will promote the development of cancer, involuntarily even.

“The result of our work has taken us by surprise,” says study leader Jan Karlseder. “We know of various mechanisms that prevent cells from dividing uncontrollably and from cancer. We would have never thought that Autophagy is one of them.“

The molecular biologists, whose study is published in the journal “Nature”, have made their discovery in the research of Telomeres and cancer. Telomeres, the protective ends of chromosomes at each cell division, shorter. The telomere shortening is responsible for the aging process.

Chromosomes without protection is a risk of cancer of the caps are

The telomeres are very short, gets the aged cell, the command to not share. In the so-called cell crisis and dies. The cell divides in the crisis, due to a failure nevertheless, you can merge the chromosomes and is dysfunctional: Now highest cancer risk.

By comparing healthy cells and such just before the cell death, the researchers found that many died due to the alleged repair mechanism of Autophagy.

As they prevented the Autophagy in the cells in the crisis, shortly before the death, a share in the tireless. The chromosomes were destroyed, fused, deformed – a hallmark for cancer.

Autophagy of the cell, prevents cancer development

Jan Charles, the founder of the Team that was the evidence that Autophagy is a cancer-preventing mechanism on a cellular level, and not – as previously believed – the growth of cancer cells promotes.

However, the researchers acknowledge: the result Is the cancer, the inhibition of Autophagy is still a good strategy, a Tumor to starve.

How this new knowledge about the nature of cancer, the impact on Oncology practice, is not yet clear. But it is far from the only approach to detect abnormal cells and stop, before you clench up ulcers to cancer.

A drop of blood reveals a individual cancer cells

Particularly far, the development of Tests to discover in a tiny drop of blood of individual cancer cells has progressed. In the cancer of the blood cells or their genetic material-swim sections long before the disease shows. “Liquid biopsy” (liquid biopsy) is called, the method to diagnose cancer in the blood – before he is to disease.

As such, researchers from the cancer Institute of the Cleveland Clinic have developed a blood test that can detect ten different types of cancer, before symptoms are noticeable. It is based on the analysis of DNA fragments, which are emitted from the fast-growing cancer cells into the blood.

Study leader Eric Klein even speaks of “the Holy Grail of cancer research” and means, “to discover difficult-to-treat types of cancer if they are well treated”. The prediction accuracy varies between 56 percent (in the case of esophageal and laryngeal cancer) and 90 percent (in the case of ovarian cancer).

A similar Test had previously presented to the Kimmel cancer center in Baltomore. He is looking for in the DNA after cancer traces and can identify eight of the most common types of cancer with an accuracy of 68 to 98 percent.

Test Quickie to detect all types of cancer

A quick test, the typical differences in the DNA of Tumor and healthy cells recognizes, have developed Australian researchers. Using gold particles to show the DNA snippets from a drop of blood after ten minutes, whether a cell is healthy or whether it contributes to cancer. It seems that the scientists have found a universal Biomarker for cancer.

Also, the study’s author, Matt dew speaks from the “Holy Grail” for the diagnosis of all forms of cancer. However, the Test only detects the presence of cancer cells, it can make no statements about the type or the stage of the disease.

In the laboratory, cancer from immune cells-Killer

In the therapy it comes, to discover clusters of cancer cells as early as possible on and off. The current cancer research focuses on the immune system, which creates anyway day-to-day faulty cells in the body aside. Too many pollutants to escape-like cells, the body’s own defense forces, cancer.

The immune system must be strengthened, with tougher defense weapons and specifically trained and equipped, that it destroys cancer cells, but healthy cells unscathed.

In the case of the high-tech medicine with the CAR-made molecules, immune cells in the laboratory to killer cells against cancer. The CAR-T-cells recognize and destroy cancer cells that had previously escaped the Radar of the immune system.

Checkpoint inhibitors to unleash the immune system

The so-called Checkpoints are comparable with control stations of the immune system, the sit on certain immune cells. You brakes a strong immune response. Some cancer cells use these molecular brakes, however, disguise themselves and grow uncontrollably. Here are the Checkpoint inhibitors. The medication to loosen the blockage, stimulate the immune system, and lead to the destruction of the cancer cells.

Beyond the future, and often wickedly expensive lab and Biotech medicine, it has to make everyone to a certain degree, even in the Hand, the immune system its battle against cancer cells easier to see. Every third cancer would be through a healthier lifestyle preventable. The had shown in the autumn evaluations of the German cancer research center (DKFZ).