A new study shows that some cancerous cells can be reverted to their original healthy state.
According to BBC news, researchers from Mayo Clinic may have found a way to not only stop the spread of cancerous cells, but also to revert them to their former selves. The research is just in its early stages, but the initial results showed a very important step that would stop the replication of cancer cells.
Their theory behind the new treatment involves the combination of two ideas- miRNA and cell adhesion. Until this study, researchers thought that cell adhesion was only used to connect cells, but in this instance, it acts as a signal that starts cell replication via miRNA.
Once this mechanism is disturbed in any way, cancer cells can spread. The research shows that monitoring the miRNA levels can counteract this spread.
Panos Anastasiadis, lead researcher of the study, claims that “By administering the affected miRNAs in cancer cells to restore their normal levels, we should be able to re-establish the brakes and restore normal cell function. Initial experiments in some aggressive types of cancer are indeed very promising.”
The next step for researchers is to test and prove the validity of this treatment in different types of cancer.
The researchers remain cautiously optimistic. According to the senior science information manager of the Cancer Research UK, “There’s a long way to go before we know whether these findings, in cells grown in a laboratory, will help treat people with cancer. But it’s a significant step forward in understanding how certain cells in our body know when to grow, and when to stop. Understanding these key concepts is crucial to help continue the encouraging progress against cancer we’ve seen in recent years. This important study solves a long-standing biological mystery, but we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves.”