A combination drug that can set off the self-destruct process in lung cancer cells has been discovered.
Using lung cancer cells and mice the Cancer Research UK team, based at the UCL Cancer Institute scientists, showed that the combination of two drugs, called TRAIL and a CDK9 inhibitor, altered the molecular switches in the cell suicide process, hence forcing the cancer cells to self-destruct.
Lead researcher, Cancer Research UK scientist Professor Henning Walczak from the UCL Cancer Institute, said that igniting the fuse that caused lung cancer cells to self-destruct could pave the way to a completely new treatment approach.
Nell Barrie, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, added that understanding and targeting these processes would help move closer to the goal of 3 out of 4 people beating cancer within the next 20 years.
The research is due to be presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool.