A protein that destroys hard to treat cancers has been discovered by scientists – offering hope of effective new treatments.
Experiments on mice and human tissue found it is effective against the most aggressive tumors.
They include those of the breast, pancreas, ovaries and brain. The compound, known as ERX-41, leaves healthy tissue unscathed.
It is one of the most promising breakthroughs to date – offering hope of a “one size fits al”' pill that was once thought impossible.
Results were so encouraging clinical trials are expected to begin in the next few months.
Lead author Professor Ratna Vadlamudi, of the University of Texas, said: “We identified a critical vulnerability in multiple cancers and have validated our findings in multiple cancer cell types and animal models.
“The range of cell lines and xenografts in which the compound has been shown to work is compelling and indicates that it is targeting a fundamental vulnerability in cancer cells.”
Xenografts are human tumors grown in mouse models for research purposes. The findings could lead to exciting drugs for cancers that have few effective treatments.