New discovery that can help develop better treatment for cancerA new study published in the Journal Cell records a breakthrough in the field of science and health care. A team of scientists have discovered a type of protein that can delay the death of cells and may help in creating better treatment options for diseases like cancer, neurodegeneration and certain infections.The team has found that a particular set of proteins can delay ‘the executioner’ machinery which kills or damages the cells through a process called necroptosis. Their findings are significant as they can help in developing more effective drugs to control this process and save the cells from further damage. This new class of drugs may also help in preventing injuries to the tissues that are deprived of blood in case of a heart attack of stroke. In these situations, restoring the blood flow and providing and extra dose of oxygen often causes inflammation that kills the tissue as a side effect but this can be controlled. Not only this, scientists have also found that these cell rescuing drugs may be able to stop the spread of cancer by protecting the blood vessels from being affected by the tumour cells. Tumour cells spread in the body by killing the blood vessels. By blocking the rescue machinery this can be prevented. Furthermore, this discovery may also be helpful in finding treatments for neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease because activating the rescue machinery may help prevent the death of brain cells.
(Also read: 6 Herbs That Can Prevent the Risk of Cancer)
A particular set of proteins can delay ‘the executioner’ machinery which kills or damages the cellsWhen it comes to treating viral infections, scientists say that the rescue treatment can extend the life of infected cells and make the body’s immune system more active so that it can fight the infection. Scientists have already known that the "executioner" in necroptosis was a protein called MLKL.However, through this study they have been able to find out discovered how cells can possibly survive necroptosis.The study was conducted by Douglas Green, Ph.D., chair of the St. Jude Department of Immunology and his colleagues who believe that the study is only suggestive at this point as the research was done in cell cultures and tissue samples. Further analysis need to be done to establish the outcomes and verify if this will work in whole organs.
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