Rachel Charlene Lewis
August 08, 2016 5:56 pm
Shutterstock / dean bertoncelj

New research published in the journal Blood has shown the potential for a new class of anti-cancer agents to be used in treating an incurable bone marrow cancer. Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute worked alongside scientists at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases to analyze what they called “survival proteins” that encourage the bone cancer. What they found out is actually pretty amazing.

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What you need to know about the bone cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the bone marrow cancer (known as multiple myeloma), occurs when malignant plasma cells take over bone marrow, causing low blood count, infections, bone and calcium problems, kidney problems, and other major symptoms. Recognizing how complicated and complex the disease is, the scientists came forward to discover how to best treat the cancer.

The study.

Dr. Jianan Gong said, “Our research shows that switching off MCL-1 has the potential to be effective new treatment approach for the majority of patients with myeloma.”

Remember those “survival proteins” that encourage the bone marrow cancer? Well, they are what keeps the myeloma cells alive, making it impossible to suppress the cancer. The scientists were able to discover the specific survival protein, and figure out a way to inhibit it. Like, wow.

The results

Professor Andrew Roberts explained the findings, saying, “As yet, these inhibitors are still in pre-clinical development. Our results suggest that, once necessary laboratory testing for safety is completed, clinical trials of their effectiveness in treating patients with multiple myeloma that is no longer responding to current therapies would be well justified.”

The researchers recommended more time be spent trying to figure out if these inhibitors are for sure going to assist patients with the bone marrow cancer. It appears likely that it would be a final step in the treatment only to be relied on if nothing else seemed like it was working.

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Oh, science. You have our hearts. This is truly just so fantastic, and proof that while there’s always more to learn, the geniuses of our world are able to collaborate and make major moves toward curing diseases like this deadly cancer.