New York: According to a new study published in the journal 'Cancer discovery', cancer cells can escape chemotherapy by a process similar to senescence which is a type of "active hibernation", explaining why cancers recur after treatment.
Senior author Ari M Melnick of Weill Cornell Medicine said, "Acute myeloid leukaemia can be put into remission with chemotherapy, but it almost always comes back, and when it does, it's incurable."
Patient's samples of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) tumours were extracted and used in organoids and mice models for the research. The study revealed that when AML cells undergo chemotherapy, a subset of the cells reaches a state of hibernation, causing a condition similar to inflammation. The wound healing process ensues because the cells seem similar to those injured, with most of their functions shut down.
Research informs that a protein named ATR is behind this inflammatory senescent state, and to prevent cancer cells from adopting this condition, one could block ATR.
The researchers texted the hypothesis in labs and confirmed that an ATR inhibitor could be administered to leukaemia cells to prevent them from entering senescence, thereby enabling chemotherapy to kill all the cells effectively.