A new study by scientists at the Florida's Mayo Clinic has found the key to change tumor cells back into normal cells.
The study re-established the mechanism in cancer cells that prevents them from multiplying and forming tumors.
"It's an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer," says the study's senior investigator, Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D.
The technique has only been tested on human cells in the lab, scientists hope it can one day turn off cancer growths and restore normal cells.
The study found that a protein is regulated by microprocessors called microRNAs. The RNAs functions as glue in keeping cells together.
Cells have to reproduce themselves and they replicate until a protein called PLEKHA7 is released. But in cancer, the cells keep dividing.
Anastasiadis said, "This produces the equivalent of a speeding car that has a lot of gas and no brakes."
Scientists found they could trigger cancer in cells by removing the microRNA from cells, which prevented them from releasing PLEKHA7. They could also reverse the process and stop the cancer in its tracks.
Initial trials in some aggressive types of cancer are indeed very promising.