London: In a discovery that could open upcompletely new strategies for tackling cancer, scientists havefound that healthy and cancerous cells in the body engage indeadly battles in which the losers die finally.
In future, experts believe, it may be possible to "tipthe balance" so that healthy cells win in the struggle withcancer, the Daily Mail reported. Dr Yasuyuki Fujita, who led the research, said: "This isthe first time that we have seen cancer cells being killedsimply by being surrounded by healthy cells. "If we can build on this knowledge and improve ourunderstanding of how this happens, in the future we may beable to find a way to enhance this ability and develop atotally new way of preventing and treating cancer."
The research, reported in the journal Public Library ofScience (PLoS) Biology, has implications for treating commonsolid tumours of the sort that form in the breast, prostate,lung, stomach and bowel, the researchers said. In experiments on laboratory-cultured dog kidney cells,the scientists identified two key proteins that helpeddetermine the outcome of the contest between `good` and `bad`cells. They found that cancer cells that lacked the proteinscalled Lgl and Mahjong were likely to end up as the losers.
The mutant cells then underwent cell suicide when theywere surrounded by cells in which the proteins were active. In cells without Mahjong, over-producing Lgl did notprevent apoptosis. But the same was not true in reverse --cells missing Lgl did not self-destruct when they had asurfeit of Mahjong, the scientists found. PTI
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