A new study by researchers at Israel's Technion's cancer research center have discovered two cancer suppressing proteins that could hold a key to controlling the growth of cancer cells.
The study was conducted in the Haifa laboratory of 2004 Nobel Prize winner Prof. Aaron Ciechanover.
The two cancer suppressing proteins are p50 and KPC1. The p50 protein is produced in many body cells and encourages inflammation, which has been proven to be a factor in numerous cancer studies. The second protein KPC1 is also involved in the production of p50.
The current research was conducted on mice. Three groups of mice were injected with different samples of human brain cancer cells: first group got cancer cells with KPC1; second group got cells with high concentration of p50 and the third group got cells that were untreated.
The mice that got untreated cells had large tumors within weeks and the mice with KPC1 treated cells had smaller tumors. The third group, which had the cells treated with higher concentration of p50, developed tiny tumors. Thus the researchers concluded that higher concentrations of p50 in tissues are likely to protect them from tumors.
Aaron Ciechanover, president of the Israel Cancer Society, said, "Many more years are required to establish the research and gain a solid understanding of the mechanisms behind the suppression of the tumors. The development of a drug based on this discovery is a possibility, although not a certainty, and the road to such a drug is long and far from simple."
The study was led by research fellow Dr. Yelena Kravtsova-Ivantsiv, with the participation of research fellows and physicians from Rambam, Carmel and Hadassah medical centers.
The study was published in the journal Cell .