London: Prostate cancer and other localised tumours can be effectively treated by a combination of heat and an anti-cancer drug that damages the genes, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at the Bangor University have identified a switch in cells that may help to kill tumours with heat which has the ability to switch off essential survival mechanisms in human cells.
The researchers have found that heat modulates these survival systems by promoting the production of a novel protein which is only produced when elevated temperatures activate a gene that hides inside another gene.
"The existence of such hidden genes may explain why the human genome has a much smaller number of genes than initially expected.
Our work may also help to improve heat-treatment of cancer for the benefit of patients," leader of the Genome Biology group Dr Thomas Caspari said in a statement.
The findings were published in the Journal of Cell Science.