Researchers at the RVC have identified how certain cancer cells resist chemotherapy by creating a protection mechanism.

chemo target
The discovery that certain cancer cells resist chemotherapy by creating a protection mechanism will allow scientists to work on how to target these cancer cells for more effective and tailored treatments. IMAGE: psdesign1 / Fotolia.

The discovery will now allow scientists to work on how to target these cancer cells for more effective and tailored treatment for patients.

ATPase inhibitory factor 1

Published in Cell Reports, the study focused on adenosine triphosphatase inhibitory factor 1 (IF1) – a mitochondrial protein expressed in various types of human cancers, and that suppresses programmed cell death (apoptosis), enhancing tumour invasion and chemoresistance.

Coordinated by Michelangelo Campanella of the RVC, the research group responsible for the discovery included researchers from Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan and the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy.

Human and animal applications

The experiments were done on human-derived cancer cells, meaning the findings can be applied to both the treatment and stratification of animal and human patients pursuing the college’s mission of leadership in comparative physiology and medicine.

The hope is, with these research findings, scientists can, in future, develop IF1 targeting drugs as potential anti-cancer to attack the tumour and increase cancer patients’ survival rates.

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