Biologists from St. Petersburg have created a compound that causes cancer cells to repair their DNA or self-destruct after fatal genome damage occurs. The efficacy of the new compound is much higher than that of the most powerful drugs developed in the U.S. and Europe, TASS reported, quoting Alexander Garabagiu, professor of St. Petersburg State Technological Institute.
It could be a new step toward more effective and safer chemotherapy. A large number of cancerous tumours are caused by the breakdown of the “p53 gene”, which is responsible for DNA repair and self-destruction in case of fatal genome damage. This is often caused by the increased activity of a protein called MDM2, which neutralises the molecules of“ p53”. Scientists have been trying to create or find a molecule that will neutralise the protein and help cells fight against small mutations and larger breakdowns in DNA. During their experiments, the compound created by Russian researchers was able to kill about 40 per cent of cancer cells.