The cure for cancer remains a mystery to this date, and although scientists are doing their best to find one, it might still take a long time for it to get through the market. Several people have survived this notorious disease, but many of them didn’t make it.
The human body has genes that strive hard to protect us from cancer and if they don’t function well, we become vulnerable and our lives are easily put in danger. This is what happens to all cancer victims, but the scientists in Melbourne have found out how a cancer-preventing gene works hard to stop the development of lymphoma and other types of cancer.
A gene called p53 is a tumor protein that works to suppress a tumor.
TP53 or commonly known as p53, the protein regulates the cancer cells. It plays a very important role in the human body as it blocks out the possible development of a tumor. If p53 fails, it will result in the progression of at least half of all types of cancer.
On the other hand, if the gene functions well, it can instruct cancerous cells to crash or to prevent from developing. One example is lymphoma or cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system, which grows rapidly.
Although researchers know that p53 protecs us from cancer, nobody can actually explain how it prevents tumor progression.
On the plus side, Melbourne scientists discovered a “special group of genes” that works in the human body’s normal DNA repair process. Called MLH1, they are the crucial genes that make p53 efficient in preventing the development of cancer.
This repair gene also gives effectiveness to p53 in stopping the B-cell lymphomas from developing.
This new finding should help doctors discover more effective and safe treatments for the cancer patients.
One of the lead researchers in this study Dr. Ana Janic said that the results might take time to “translate into clinical practice,” but it’s already a great start.
Dr. Janic,an Associate Professor Marco Herold, and Professor Andreas Strasser, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) researchers with honorary University of Melbourne appointments added that the discovery gives the researchers more chances to check if the DNA repair process is also critical in preventing the development of other types of cancer such as pancreatic and colon cancer.
“It is defects (mutations) in this gene that’s actually causing 50 per cent of human cancers. It’s really exciting because we’ve kind of opened the window for many new discoveries in this area.”
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