A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen (KU) has made a discovery that could prove significant in the battle against cancer.
The KU team, led by professor Anja Groth, identified a molecular mechanism that explains how a specific protein can repair DNA damage without harming healthy cells – knowledge that can be used in the development of new targeted cancer treatment.
Long way off
“We have shown how a cellular DNA repair protein is directed to lesions in DNA via modifications on histone proteins that are bound tightly to DNA. Cancer cells divide rapidly and experience a high load of DNA damage – without efficient repair systems these cells will die,” Groth told Medical Express.
Groth stressed that there was still a long way to go but believes the new discovery offered great potential.
According to the World Health Organisation, the global cost of cancer was estimated to be nearly 6,000 billion kroner in 2008, when about 7.6 million people died from the disease. Six years later, the number of cancer-related deaths has reached 8.2 million.