Friday, December 20, 2013

City of Hope: Possible Cure for Cancer and Obesity

The City of Hope, based in Duarte, California, the U.S. leading research, treatment and education center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening disease, and designated as a comprehensive cancer center, recently released a study made by its researchers, Drs. Sanjay Awasthi and Sharad Singhal, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, that may pave the way for a cure for cancer, and an end to obesity.

The study made by the two scientists discovered that deleting the gene that produces protein RLIP76 in mice kept the rodents from developing cancer and becoming overweight. This particular protein, RLIP76, is little in number in normal cells, but it is numerous in cancer cells.

Thus, the researchers got the idea to turn off the RLIP-producing gene in mice, and so far, ten types of cancer were tested on the animals. According to Dr. Awasthi, RLIP works like a fan, with an exhaust sucking out toxins from cells. He continued to say that, after turning off the RLIP-producing gene, the lab-tested mice became almost completely resistant to those types of cancer. “You can’t even take a cancer and implant it into their skin because the cancer fails to grow,” Awasthi said.

Moreover, they found out that blocking RLIP production prevented mice in the study from gaining excess weight, even when given a high-fat diet. At the same time, the two researchers stumbled upon a surprising side-effect: “Inhibiting (the gene) causes the blood sugar to drop, the cholesterol to drop and triglycerides to drop,” Dr. Awasthi said.

In addition, the team also discovered that inhibiting the growth of the gene did not have any adverse impact on all the mice they studied, for their regular cells have all the RLIP they need, which means the protein is not completely lost.

At this point, Drs. Sanjay Awasthi and Sharad Singhal said that there are some promising drugs that show the potential for blocking the protein from forming in humans. They are now in the process of submitting an application together for the Food and Drug Administration for an approval to begin human trials within the year.

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