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TOMSK, September 5. /TASS/. Scientists from Russia, Germany and Latvia are developing a fundamentally new cancer treatment method based on suppressing tumor growth by the cells surrounding it, the press service of Tomsk State University reported on Tuesday. Pre-clinical trials are set to be held before the end of 2018.
"The essence of the fundamentally new approach towards treating oncological diseases developed by Tomsk State University, the Tomsk National Research Medical Center (NRMC) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg University and the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center is to ‘instruct’ the cells in the tumor’s microenvironment to hamper its growth and metastasis. Plans are in the works for the new therapeutic approach to be developed and undergo preclinical trials before the end of 2018," the press service said.
Scientists note, however, that the standard therapy to kill off the tumor does not always stop it from growing. The new method will affect the macrophages surrounding the cancer cells. The SI-CLP protein, which will be delivered to the problem zone by means of an inactivated virus, will be used as an impact tool.
"Microphages are a key element of the tumor microenvironment. Tumor cells are capable of coding them for interaction. In that case, macrophages ‘work’ to maintain tumor progression. However, these cells potentially have all necessary functions to prevent the tumor’s growth and its ability to metastasize. We only need to find a way of ‘activating’ them," the press service quotes Nadezhda Cherdyntseva, Head of the Institute of Oncology at the Tomsk National Research Medical Center, as saying.
The scientists’ work has been supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) and the "ERA.Net RUS plus" international program.