For centuries, the human race has tried to battle an internal killer of so many. The battle with cancer has been a long and difficult road. We’ve lost family members and beloved icons to the terrible affliction. But a recent breakthrough drug has successfully isolated a specific protein responsible for cancer cell replication. And so far has succeeded in killing the cancer cells without causing toxicity. This is a huge step in the fight against cancer and very exciting news.
The drug, known as AOH1996, has been developed over the last two decades. And has shown promise across preclinical research in treating a number of different cancers. Including breast, prostate, brain, ovarian, cervical, skin and lung cancers. Linda Malkas, Ph.D., professor in City of Hope’s Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics and the M.T. & B.A. Ahmadinia Professor in Molecular Oncology, is extremely optimistic. AOH1996 targets the cancerous variant of PCNA. The altered protein that is largely responsible for the replication of cancer cells.
TSA For Cancer Cells
“PCNA is like a major airline terminal hub containing multiple plane gates,” Malkas says. “Data suggests PCNA is uniquely altered in cancer cells, and this fact allowed us to design a drug that targeted only the form of PCNA in cancer cells. Our cancer-killing pill is like a snowstorm that closes a key airline hub, shutting down all flights in and out only in planes carrying cancer cells.” Even more encouraging is that PCNA had previously been believed to be “undruggable.”
“We discovered that PCNA is one of the potential causes of increased nucleic acid replication errors in cancer cells. Now that we know the problem area and can inhibit it, we will dig deeper to understand the process to develop more personalized, targeted cancer medicines,” Long Gu, Ph.D., lead author of the study and an associate research professor in the Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, said.
This is massive news for the world of medicine. And if clinical trials go well, it could literally save lives.