Hopes That New Substance Will Induce Cancer Cell Suicide, Karolinska Institute Study
The p53 gene plays a key role in the prevention of cancer, by blocking cell growth and triggering programmed cell death or apoptosis. If, however, p53 has mutated and become defective, the cancer cells can acquire the ability to evade apoptosis and become more resistant to therapy. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital have now obtained results from the first tests using a new substance that can restore the function of defective p53 and activate apoptosis in cancer cells. The substance is known as APR-246 and has now been tested on humans in a phase I/II study, which was conducted on 22 patients with advanced blood or prostate cancer. Some of the patients came from the Haematology Centre at the Karolinska University Hospital in, Stockholm, where the study s lead investigator, consultant Dr Sören Lehmann is based. The remainder of the patients were from other clinics in Gothenburg, Lund, Uppsala and Örebro.