New can­cer drug will ‘starve’ cells

Pilbara News - - News - Rose Bren­nan

Sci­en­tists have found a way to kill can­cer cells by starv­ing them of the fuel they need.

A world-first break­through by a Syd­ney team has iden­ti­fied what drives dif­fi­cult-to-quash can­cer cells that cause the most deadly breast, prostate and skin can­cers.

Cen­te­nary In­sti­tute As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Jeff Holst led the study that found these no­to­ri­ous can­cer cells thrive on an amino acid called glu­tamine but nor­mal cells do not.

“Can­cer cells have found ways to use glu­tamine to fuel their growth and they be­come ad­dicted,” Pro­fes­sor Holst said.

“They are so de­pen­dent on it that if you take it away the cells die.”

Pro­fes­sor Holst is de­vel­op­ing a drug which stops the cells tak­ing in glu­tamine.

The drug is ex­pected to en­ter clin­i­cal tri­als in as lit­tle as three years.

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