Sunday, May 20, 2012

Singapore - Scientists discover way to 'starve' cancer cells

SINGAPORE: Scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a way to kill cancer cells - by 'starving' them of energy.

NUS said on Thursday that the discovery paves the way for more effective cancer treatment.

The research revolves around a drug-led compound, BPTES.

The scientists, who are from the Department of Biological Sciences and Mechanobiology Institute, said the compound can deprive cancer cells of energy and stop them from growing into a tumour.

The compound is undergoing pre-clinical trials as a potential drug.

NUS said this is the first time a research group has provided evidence showing how a drug-led compound suppresses tumour formation.

Building on the new findings, the NUS team also derived positive results for a dual-drug treatment regime involving BPTES.

The team found that it kills kidney and breast cancer cells more effectively.

NUS said the next step is to conduct more studies to determine whether a combination of drugs would be even more effective.

The research team will also look into how it can make BPTES more efficient, as well as ways to lower its side-effects.

- CNA/cc

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