U of L doctors share in breakthrough discovery for potential new cancer therapies

By Lara Fominoff @LaraFominoff on Twitter
July 27, 2018 - 10:44am

LETHBRIDGE - Drs. Olga and Igor Kovalchuk at the University of Lethbridge, in conjunction with researchers from Qiqihar University in China, and researchers from Boston and Michigan Universities, may have made a breakthrough that could bring potential for new cancer therapies.

The study, which involves certain types of micro acid molecules (microRNAs) and how they interact with key cancer molecules (tRNA), found that by manipulating their interactions, they can affect cell reproduction and death.

The study took place over several years involving a breast cancer model, has been published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

"This is the first time that anybody has shown such interaction is possible, that it is actually functional, that it regulates biological processes and also the processes that contribute to cancer," said Dr. Olga Kovalchuk."These processes are pivotal for cancer because cancer cells get unlimited capacity to divide and no capacity to die. If you manipulate the levels of these RNAs, you affect these processes."

Kovalchuk says they're now looking at other types of cancers and other projects, including collaborations. If they can show results with other types of cancers, they could then have the potential to discuss the possibility of clinical trials.

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