Key molecule for treating ovarian cancer identified

23 July 2015


An important molecule to target in the treatment of ovarian cancer has been identified by researchers at the Lawson Institute in Canada.

Their work goes against previous studies to suggest that LKB1 is a major molecule in terms of ovarian cancer’s survival and growth. Its normal function is to regulate the metabolism of mature cells.

The research team were able to grow the cancer cells in the laboratory using 3D structures called spheroids, which help the cells mimic the way cancer develops in the human body.

Lead author Trevor Shepherd said: “We definitively show that ovarian cancer cells still have LKB1 and that this molecule allows ovarian cancer spheroids to change their metabolism, promote tumour cell survival and make them more resistant to chemotherapy."

He added that there were no current cancer therapies targeting this molecule, which makes it an important target for future research. Ovarian cancer is often challenging to treat, as it is often not diagnosed until it has developed significantly, and often recurs until it becomes resistant to treatment.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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