Study suggests new way to attack resistant tumours

In collaboration with Adfero

UK scientists have shown that a particular group of chemotherapy drugs work by causing an unusual form of cell death in cancer cells, called necroptosis.

Until recently, scientists thought that most cancer cell death caused by treatment happened through a process called apoptosis. This process is often blocked in cancer cells - leading them to resist treatment and grow and spread.

Now, scientists at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have shown that some cancer treatments use necroptosis to kill cancer cells that are resistant to the usual process of cell death.

The scientists made this new discovery while trying to work out how a class of chemotherapy drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors kill cancer cells.

References

  • Tenev, T., Bianchi, K., Darding, M., Broemer, M., Langlais, C., Wallberg, F., Zachariou, A., Lopez, J., MacFarlane, M., Cain, K., & Meier, P. (2011). The Ripoptosome, a Signaling Platform that Assembles in Response to Genotoxic Stress and Loss of IAPs Molecular Cell DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.06.006