It seems that tumors hate the heat, says New Scientist's Ferris Jabr. In a new study published in PNAS, researchers at the University of Amsterdam show that high temperatures undercut a tumor's ability to fight off cancer drugs by denaturing the BRCA2 protein that repairs breaks cancer cells' DNA, Jabr says. This suggests to researchers that the right combination of heat and drugs may improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy. "Cells have DNA repair pathways because they constantly accumulate DNA damage, so fixing it is good for normal cells, but DNA repair allows cancer cells to resist therapy that does DNA damage," study co-author Roland Kanaar tells Jabr. "The researchers suggest that hyperthermia would make an excellent ally for anti-cancer drugs that impair DNA-repair enzymes, such as PARP-1 inhibitors," Jabr adds.
You Give Me Fever
May 11, 2011