Researchers have discovered a novel strategy to exploit apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, for the treatment of lung cancer. The protein Bcl-2 is a known target for cancer treatment since it allows cancer cells to evade cell death via apoptosis. The findings were published in the journal Cancer Cell.
The researchers discovered an entirely new class of compounds that act by binding to the BH4 domain of Bcl-2 to inhibit its function. The binding of the potential drug results in Bcl-2 being converted from its role of providing survival advantage to cancer cells to that of promoting death of cancer cells. Though this strategy was primarily studied in lung cancer models, it could be widely applicable to other cancer types as well.
The researchers are now testing the molecule further in preparation for future testing among eligible patients.
Based on material originally posted by Emory Health Sciences.