• When cells get old and prepare to die, they're supposed to stop dividing. This process is controlled by "biological processors" called microRNAs which feed the cell just enough of the PLEKHA7 protein to inhibit division. But in the case of cancer, the microRNAs don't deliver enough of the protein and the cells begin to divide out of control, resulting in a tumor.
  • In a recently published study in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the Mayo Clinic team found that by injecting microRNA directly into a tumor, PLEKHA7 levels returned to normal and the cancerous cells stop reproducing.
  • So far it has only been tested on human cells in the lab, but the researchers are hopeful that the technique could one day be used to target tumours so that cancer could be ‘switched off’ without the need for harsh chemotherapy or surgery.

Share This Article