Mexican Scientists Develop Drug to Inhibit Malignant Tumor Growth
Mexico City, Dec 24 (Prensa Latina) Scientists with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) have developed a pharmacological alternative to fully inhibit the growth of certain malignant tumors, including the most aggressive, the university reported in a press release.
According to the text, specialists with the Iztacala Faculty of Higher Studies of UNAM developed the drug combined with a conventional medicine.
By studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer, the experts observed that as they proliferated in an accelerated way, tumor cells transformed their glucose into lactate, said UNAM.
The leader of the scientific team, researcher Carlos Perez, explained that healthy cells get their energy from the metabolic process of glucolisis, in which glucose divides into two molecules of pyruvate, which are oxidized into carbon dioxide and water in the mitochondres.
In contrast, in tumor cells, the dehydrogenase lactate enzyme captures the pyruvateâ?"a key organic compound to generate energy and decompose glucoseâ?"to change it into lactate in a reverse manner.
"Having this in mind, we developed an already registered drug, similar to pyruvate, in order to block the enzyme," said Perez, who was recently granted the National Biomedical Research Award.
During their study, tumors disappeared in mice that received the treatment, with no side effects, he said.
In Perez's opinion, such projects show that scientists are working to provide concrete answers, and this is only one example of work that is being carried put by UNAM in the field of applied sciences with a relevant impact on society.