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By Blocking DNA Repair, Drug Combination Proves Lethal to Hard-to-Treat Tumor Cells

By September 15, 2022No Comments

Of all the mutated, blundering, havoc-wreaking genes in cancer cells, few are more ubiquitous than TP53. The gene, which in its normal, capable form is nicknamed the “guardian of the genome,” is found in a flawed form in almost every type of cancer, including up to half of all lung, ovarian, and colorectal cancers and a small percentage of leukemias, melanomas, sarcomas, and other cancers.

Unluckily for patients and researchers, TP53 and its associated protein, p53, make singularly unsuitable targets for drugs. The gene is a tumor-suppressor gene; its job is to rein in runaway cell growth. When mutated, it loses that ability. Blocking it with a drug would be the equivalent of trying to stop a leaky faucet by removing the water-control knob.