Why Is Cancer So Hard to Cure?

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The researchers have found that it is quite possible to cure cancer, if you do not let the tumors to develop resistance. The study published in the Science Translational Medicine journal showed that there was some chemical reaction connected with resistance. The doctors say they know how to stop the process.

Pills for Cancer Treatment

The scientists have studied the anti-cancer drug which is used to treat colon cancer, head and neck cancer, and some forms of lung cancer. It affects a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is responsible for tumor growth. All patients develop resistance to the drug. But until now the scientists have not explained why.

The experiments have shown that cancer cells behave like cars in a traffic jam, if the way was blocked, they looked for another one. In this case, the tumors rejected EGFR and started using a different protein, ERBB2, while continuing to grow.

Dr. Pasi Janne of Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston says that ERBB2 activates a signaling pathway, which is usually not blocked by the drug. Thus the drug loses its effectiveness, and cancer becomes resistant.

The scientists are going to turn to other means aimed at the ERBB2. However, there is a problem – perhaps, cancer can find other ways of development, except the already established ones.

Source of the image: Photl.