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How cancer cells resist therapy

June 9, 2011 - Washington

A new study has discovered a mechanism by which cancer cells become resistant to therapy.

The study led by David Litchfield of The University of Western Ontario has identified how biochemical pathways can be "rewired" in cancer cells to allow these cells to ignore signals that should normally trigger their death.

"This work focused on understanding how cancer cells acquire a selective survival advantage, allowing them to avoid apoptosis, the process required for normal cell turnover and chemically-induced cell death" said Litchfield.

"Our work also provides encouragement for the development of novel therapeutic approaches that would prevent - or neutralize - this 'rewiring' to make sure that cancer cells respond to treatment," he added.

The study was published in Science Signaling.


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