Exploiting Cholesterol Dependency in Rare Cancers for Drug Development

Researchers have discovered a weakness that can be exploited by drugs in a rare form of cancer

In some ways, cancer cells are impressive. They can grow unabated, evade immune system attacks, and sidestep the ageing process by becoming immortal. In order to acquire such superpowers the cells have to sometimes give up other more mundane abilities, including the ability of producing certain nutrients.

Researchers at The Rockefeller University have discovered a rare type of tumor that cannot synthesize the molecule cholesterol. Without it, cells are unable to survive.

The findings were published in Nature by Kivanc Birsoy (Chapman Perelman assistant professor).


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