Cancer is perhaps one of the most devastating and detrimental diseases in our present world. While ongoing processes do have some success, the chemotherapy is extremely painful and there is never a certainty that it will cure the disease. Many researchers throughout the world are constantly trying hard each day to figure out a way to find a process or some medicine that will fix this, but so far we have come across nothing significant. However, a molecule has been found that promotes cancer invasion, could it be the cure we all were looking for?
How does Cancer develop?
In order to understand how this molecule can help fight off brain cancer, it is important to know how the cancer cells are developed in the first place. Our cells are more or less like robots designed to perform designated tasks over and over which are only triggered by certain chemical reactions, when ordered they can build, dismantle, and most importantly they all produce identical copies of themselves.
You can even consider our body as a large production factory and cells being its workers, as you can imagine there are billions upon billions of reactions and processes occurring constantly and each of these cells is performing their task as they should and this keeps us alive and healthy. But with such a large volume of processes things are bound to go wrong and when an error occurs our cells are capable of self-destruction but if they fail to kill themselves, a cell can turn into a cancer cell. Fortunately, our immune system recognizes it and instantly kills it, however, when a certain number of these are present or they hide from the immune system, cancer surfaces and becomes a familiar disease. Many factors lead to the development of cancer cells, such as poor immune system, eating heavily processed food, smoking cigarettes, and so on.
MiR-182 against Cancer
A brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiform (GBM) is considered one of the most aggressive and rapidly growing tumors and has the capability to spread to the other parts of the body and even resist the medical procedures done in order to suppress it. Scientists in Chicago, have identified a small RNA molecule known as miR-182 that can suppress the growth of cancer-causing genes. This is a great finding to the go-to procedure, as chemotherapy damages and even destroys DNA in order to kill and halt the growth of the cancer cells.
The molecule miR-182 is a microRNA, with the capability to bind to hundreds of genes to minimize their gene expression in cells, due to its non-coding RNA. These are short RNA genes, that range from 20-24 nanoteslas and additionally, it was observed that people who have higher levels of this microRNA had a better chance to survive against cancer. Even though it was sounding very promising to fight off cancer cells, the real issue was how to make it go after specific targets. That’s when SNA came to the rescue.
They used a nanostructure called spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) which are comprised of multiple strands of DNAs and RNAs which are concentrated around a nanoparticle center made of gold. By SNAs, the miR-182 molecules were transported from the bloodstream to the brain as these SNA are capable to cross the blood-brain/blood-tumor barrier. Finally, reaching the tumor and they found that it targetted specific oncogenes (genes that have the potential to cause cancer) that lead to a reduction in cancer growth and increased cancer cell death. The scientists stated that it SNAs are quite promising to fight cancer. Plus, this microRNA also suppressed Bcl2L12, a cancer gene that blocks the death of the cell while it undergoes chemo and radiation therapy. Ultimately, the scientists claim that this could potentially be the gateway to cure patients with GBM, either with the mentioned method or by producing therapeutic drugs that will have a similar effect.
The bottom line is that the new research and developments might just be able to gift the world the cure against cancer, even against the terminal kinds. As for this specific molecule, scientists say they require more time and testing to conduct experiments on mice to fully understand and perfect this procedure for future use.