Bar Ilan researchers have announced a breakthrough medicine which attacks metastasized cancer growths. Prof. Uri Nir of the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan University and his team have identified an enzyme that supports the survival and dissemination of metastatic cells, and they have also developed a synthetic compound that targets the enzyme and kills the metastatic cells in mice with cancer. Their research has just been published in the journal Nature Communications.

When leaving the primary tumor, cancer cells possess greater tools to survive in very harsh conditions, such as shortage of basic nutrients like glucose. Metastatic cells can safeguard against this metabolic deficiency by reprogramming their energy generation system. Prof. Nir and his team found the existence of an enzyme (FerT) in the mitochondria (an organ which generates energy within the cells) of cancer cells that they couldn’t find in the mitochondria of normal cells. When they targeted the enzyme in the laboratory, the malignant cells failed to produce energy and died (Arutz-7). READ MORE