Losing a loved one to something as virulent as cancer is devastating. A number of methods have been employed to combat this deadly disease in the past. Researchers at Karolinska Institute of Stockholm in Sweden now present a fresh method that leads to the explosion of cancer cells altogether. This was made possible by a new molecule that brings about this explosion. The outcome of this experiment has been so encouraging that it was published in a science journal, Cell.
Scientists had to expose cancer cells that came into existence due to glioblastoma, a brain cancer type. It is known to be the deadliest of brain cancer forms that significantly reduces the life expectancy of the patient. Hence, it is safe to assume that it is pretty much incurable. More than 200 various molecules were also exposed to spot any that could have proved lethal to cells. Interestingly, only one molecule out of all these cancer cells interested the scientists-Vacquinol-1.
Vacquinol-1 was rather distinct in the way it interacted with the cancer cells. The interaction is termed as ‘vacuolization.’ It involves taking substances from outside the cell and into the inside called vacuoles. Apparently, this also results in the deformation of cell membrane protecting the insides of each cell. This experiment led to too many vacuoles filling up the cell that consequently collapsed the cell membrane. That explains how the cancer cell explodes and whatever lies within dies.
As expected with any preliminary testing technique, this was tested on mice with glioblastomas. Among the group of mice that received treatment, 6 out of 8 mice survived more than 80 days. Conversely, the mice that did not receive any treatment died within 30 days. This was enough to convince scientists of the efficacy of this particular treatment. Unarguably, the results were a good indication of how effective this treatment can prove to be.
It is worth noting that this has not been tested on human patients. Yet, there is hope. Let’s hope that this small consolation results in more time for cancer-stricken patients to live in peace.