A new study published in Cell shows that attacking cancer cells by inhibiting telomerase can lead to some unwanted side effects, reports MedicalXpress. In tumors, telomerase protects malignant cells from being destroyed, and although it may seem like blocking telomerase would make it easier to kill the cells, this approach also triggers the activation of resistance pathways that allow the cancer to spread, MedicalXpress adds. Using a lymphoma mouse model, the researchers found an unexpected metabolic pathway that cancer cells use to adapt to the loss of telomerase. They add that the eventual re-activation of telomerase in the malignant cells causes cancer progression.
Feb 22, 2012