Now, pill that can explode cancer cells
Researchers have discovered that a substance called Vacquinol-1 that makes cells from glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumour, literally explode.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and colleagues at Uppsala University have discovered an entirely new mechanism to kill tumour cells in glioblastoma.
Researchers in an initial stage have exposed tumour cells to a wide range of molecules. If the cancer cells died, the molecule was considered of interest for further studies, which initially applied to over 200 kinds of molecules.
Following extensive studies, a single molecule has been identified as being of particular interest. The researchers wanted to find out why it caused cancer cell death.
It was found that the molecule gave the cancer cells an uncontrolled vacuolization, a process in which the cell carries substances from outside the cell into its interior.
This carrying process is made via the vacuoles, which can roughly be described as blisters or bags consisting of cell membranes.
When cancer cells were filled with a large amount of vacuoles, the cell membranes (the outer wall of the cell) collapsed and the cell simply exploded and necrotized.
Researchers made mice that had human glioblastoma cells transplanted ingest the substance for five days. The average survival was about 30 days for the control group that did not receive the substance. Of those who received the substance six of eight mice were still alive after 80 days.
The findings have been published in the journal Cell.
(Posted on 22-03-2014)