Centenary Institute scientists have discovered dozens of new likely targets for a particular enzyme (FAP) that is within most tumours; paving the way for the future development of safer and more effective cancer therapies, including liver, lung, skin, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.
Instead of affecting and interacting with just collagen, the researchers have used new technologies to identify 37 molecules which FAP likely modifies.
Co-lead author, Dr Hui Emma Zhang from the Centenary Institute, says this study not only reaffirms the value of FAP in cancer research, but it also provides new avenues through which scientists can target tumour growth.
“Given FAP is fairly unique to damaged cells when compared to healthy cells, the findings from our research will enhance the initial identification and imaging of tumours, as well as provide a safer and more targeted pathway through which anti-cancer therapies can be delivered,” says Dr Zhang.
Pictured: A human liver tumour (large pale cells) surrounding a peninsular of stromal cells (dense blue), with FAP molecules stained dark brown.
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A ground-breaking discovery by Centenary Institute scientists shines new light on the nature of proteins and how they exist and operate in the human body.