Evolutionary Blocking Drugs: Beating Cancer At Its Own Game

Breast cancer is the most common cancer. Studies show that 1 in 12 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, varying in severity. Due to its prevalence, several global studies are attempting to wipe it out for good. One typical treatment to combat the disease uses a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, both of which are strapping agents that kill cancer cells. However, continued use of this killer combination has decreased its effectiveness, leaving scientists to search for a new and more aggressive treatment.


Cancer’s Biological Ability

The main reason why aggressive cancers are so hard to treat is part of their biological process. Their fast rate of cell division allows them to become rapidly resistant to treatments, which is why chemotherapy and radiation no longer work. In patients whose doctors caught breast cancer early, the aggressive fusion of treatments had a better chance of killing off cancer cells before they can reproduce. If not, cancer cells go through cell division as usual and spread throughout the body, leaving no solution to killing or reducing its existence.

Reverse Evolution

Knowing the issue that comes with breast cancers, scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London started sifting through the cell cycle in the hopes of finding a way to stop division. They studied cancers that had become resistant to therapy and could therefore survive and replicate. Using a drug by the name of BOS172722, they found they could force cancer cells through rapid reproductions and cell divisions. Traditional treatments reduce the time in cell division, bringing it down to 110 minutes. With this new drug, cell division happens in just 15 minutes, forcing the cell into overdrive while committing several fatal errors. These rapid divisions were too much for cancer cells, which began to die due to several coding errors within their DNA during division and replication.


The Key to New Treatments

This drug is only one of many that scientists are studying to treat aggressive cancers like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. The focus now is on the molecule MPS1, which is responsible for cell division within cancer cells. The idea is to block the reception of the MPS1 molecule, complicating further division and eventually killing off or weakening cancer cells. The BOS172722 drug is currently under clinical trials, set to expand as more positive results pour in.

The fight against cancer is constant. Its ability to evolve and adapt is much quicker than ours, replicating and dividing at a fast rate. The only concern when studying these hyperactive cells is whether they will adapt, finding a way to resist these drugs in the future. However, scientists assure that it’s nothing they haven’t seen before, having to keep a lookout for treatment that doesn’t evolve cancers too much. For now, this is a promising line of study that is creating a ton of positive results, leaving both patients and scientists hopeful for the future outcome.