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New breakthrough against cancer: researchers find for the first time how to transform a cancerous cell into a harmless cell

In cancer, healthy cells turn into malignant cells with very different characteristics, such as the ability to divide out of control. In the treatment of leukemia, researchers have obtained promising results by artificially developing the reverse biological phenomenon.

This new hope in the fight against cancer is the result of a research program carried out jointly by Spanish and Israeli teams. The transformation of leukemic cells into harmless cells could become a new treatment protocol for oncologists and hematologists in the fight against cancer.

If the opposite phenomenon is already well known, researchers have discovered that by making chemical modifications to a cell, thus proceeding with the technique of epigenetics, that is to say by particularly treating its genetic material called messenger RNA , it was possible to change its genetic nature.

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Until now, scientists knew very little about the reverse process: being able to reverse a cancer cell, transform it back into a non-cancerous physiological cell, and what factors might influence this process.
The researchers therefore wanted to know more about the molecular pathways involved in this cellular transformation. They therefore studied an in vitro model in which a leukemia cell was treated to become a type of harmless immune cell called a macrophage.

Epigenetic processes allow the same DNA to be used differently from one cell to another. They do not modify the genes, but are able to make them silent, or on the contrary available, that is to say accessible to the machinery allowing them to be read. This is achieved through a whole series of stratagems, among which is the addition of small chemical groups.

The investigation, published by revista Leukemia, the han llevado a cabo Alberto Bueno-Costa, investigator of the group of Manel Esteller, supervisor of the studio and director of the Instituto español…

— Analisis Urbano (@AnalisisUrbano) June 10, 2022

Over the past few decades, numerous scientific studies have made it possible to discover various molecular alterations responsible for this transformation of healthy tissue into a tumour.

In the case of leukemia, as in cancer pathologies, healthy cells become malignant with very different characteristics, such as the ability to divide uncontrollably.

Although this research program has not yet been tested in patients, the research team believes that the first results appear sufficiently promising and deserve to be further explored as a new approach in the fight against leukaemia.

“The first preclinical drugs against this target have already been developed in experimental models of malignant blood diseases”, indicates in particular the study. These new drugs could prove revolutionary in cancer therapies, particularly in the case of leukemia and lymphoma.



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