This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have another exciting breakthrough in cancer treatment and management technology that might stop cancers from spreading throughout the body, allowing the cancer to be treated in it’s original location much more easily. The spread of cancer through the body from its original location is called metastasis. It’s often what makes cancer so hard to treat and ultimately fatal. So if scientists could find a way to stop that metastasis then we could get ahead of the cancer spread rather than constantly playing catchup.
That’s what the team at Stanford University did with their research into the way that the proteins Axl and Gas6 work together to help cancer spread through the body. Apparently when these proteins team up on the surface of cancer cells, they cause the cells to detach and move through the body to start cancer tumors or nodules elsewhere.
What the Stanford team did was create an Axl decoy protein that acts like the original version except it doesn’t allow the cell to detach from the tumor to travel around the body. This means that potentially, a cancer treatment team could inject these decoy proteins into the cancer patient while they are treating the original tumor through surgery, radiation or chemotherapy and slowing or stopping the spread of the tumor to other parts of the body.
Currently the treatment is showing promising results in laboratory mice with cancers, stopping the spread of new nodules by up to 78%. This type of genetic protein engineering is holding out hope for being a powerful new addition to the treatment of cancer buying the patient and treatment team valuable time to halt or slow the spread of the disease. Stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly for more cancer treatment news in the future here on the show.
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