A team of researchers from five Swedish universities has identified a new way to treat cancer.
The unique concept is based on inhibiting a specific enzyme in cancer cells.
"In order to accelerate the development of this treatment principle and to proceed to clinical trials in patients as quickly as possible, we work with open innovation model. Even before publication, we sent out MTH1 inhibitors to a number of research groups around the world," says Thomas Helleday, Professor Karolinska Institutet, who heads the study. In recent decades the development of new anticancer drugs has focused on specific genetic defects in cancer cells.
They are often effective initially, but given the rapid resistance. Research team shows that all the investigated cancer tumours need the MTH1 enzyme to survive. These cancer cells differ from normal cells, which do not need this enzyme. "When we saw that the tumor from one of my patients with melanoma, has shown good treatment results, we were very happy. It is rare that you witness such a breakthrough," says Halliday.