In a big breakthrough, a team of researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia has developed a new compound that effectively inhibits the growth of a quarter of all known types of cancer.
The molecule the team created is called S63845. Compound S63845 not only kills the cancerous cells but is also tolerable to normal cells. It works by blocking the protein of the BCL2 family, called MCL1.
MCL1 is a protein which is necessary for the sustained growth of up to a quarter of all cancers. Without access to this protein, cancer cells die off.
The research could be of big help for the treatment of blood cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myelomas, in addition to solid cancers including melanoma and cancers of the lung and breast.
One member of the team, hematologist Andrew Wei from the Alfred Hospital in Australia said, “This discovery finds new hope for patients. We consider [S63845] to be a precision drug which can really strike cancer at its core and reduce the defenses against cancer survival. It’s possible that with future research and discoveries that this compound will be amenable and effective against other forms of cancer.”