Professor Marikki Laiho, University of Helsinki, Director of Center of Excellence in Cancer Biology, and other researchers have discovered molecules inhibiting the growth of cancer cells by activating the p53 gene, which is one of the most important tumor suppressors involved in preventing cancer. It directs the dividing of the cell and the protein, which regulates cancer death by protecting normal cells from malignant transformation.
The research sifted through 40 000 molecule compounds, which provided promising cancer drug candidates, preventing the growth of cancer cells isolated from different cancer types. Two of these molecules were discovered to slow down the growth of aggressive PEL lymphoma in mice.
It is of significant importance that most of the researched molecules do not cause DNA damages in the cells, unlike many more traditional cancer treatments. Further research has shown that the functional mechanisms of the recently discovered molecules are not identical with the functional mechanisms of known cancer drugs.