How to kill cancer cells by starving them
July 15, 2013
Chris Proud, Professor of Cellular Regulation in Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton says: “Cancer cells grow and divide much more rapidly than normal cells, meaning they have a much higher demand for and are often starved of, nutrients and oxygen.
We have discovered that a cellular component, eEF2K, plays a critical role in allowing cancer cells to survive nutrient starvation, whilst normal, healthy cells do not usually require eEF2K in order to survive. Therefore, by blocking the function of eEF2K, we should be able to kill cancer cells, without harming normal, healthy cells in the process.”
The researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at the BC Cancer Agency Research Center, are now working with other labs, including pharmaceutical companies, to develop and test drugs that block eEF2K, which could potentially be used to treat cancer in the future.