Madrid, Sep 19 (efesalud.com). Dr. María Teresa Agulló, from Hospital 12 de Octubre, is a video blogger on cutting-edge cancer research that develops and perfects traditional antitumor drugs so that they can stop cancer “effectively, quickly and safely for patients; without side effects such as vomiting or hair loss “. Normal cells, which live, grow and die in a predictable and highly regulated manner, stop dividing when they come into contact with other similar cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancer occurs when cells in organic tissue grow out of control. Cells “lose their ability to self-regulate and multiply endlessly to form malignant tumor masses,” she observes. Traditional antineoplastic drugs are aimed at causing changes in this uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to stop cell division. If cancer cells cannot divide, they die. The faster the cancer cells divide, the more likely the chemotherapy will kill the cells and the tumor will shrink. In addition, these drugs induce cell suicide or apoptosis: programmed death to self-control their development and growth. “Traditional chemotherapy attacks the genome of these cells, but by not establishing differences between good and bad cells, since both have the same biological origin, healthy cells can be affected,” he explains. For this reason, the “normal” cells most frequently affected are blood cells, those found in the mouth, stomach, intestine or hair follicles. Different drugs can affect different parts of the body. “Hence the side effects suffered by people treated with traditional chemotherapy: low blood counts, oral problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and hair loss”, observes the researcher. All of these body tissues are constantly dividing, to produce a continuous supply of new cells. And when cells are dividing … chemotherapy works; shoot before asking. This is one of the scientific purposes of cancer research, “to identify small or large differences” that exist between good and bad cells, to be able to attack the neoplastic cells more effectively, that is, ask first and shoot later. “State-of-the-art chemotherapy to hit the target faster and without the patients suffering its side effects,” says Teresa Agulló. Scientists are investigating which types of cancer can best be treated with targeted therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies – hybrid cells made from a stem cell and a tumor cell – or antiangiogenic drugs – inhibitors of new blood vessels newly formed in the tumor. This targeted therapy is the result of approximately 100 years of research and is not a substitute for traditional therapy. The two combine to obtain total success, the cure of cancer. And to do research you need cancer cells that come from people who are sick with the different types of cancer cells. “Patients generously donate part of their tumor tissue, extracted during surgical interventions, so that researchers can work in oncology laboratories,” explains María Teresa Agulló, head of the Translational Oncology Laboratory. The 12 de Octubre Hospital has fifty different cell lines corresponding to different tumor types: breast, lung, melanoma, colon, pancreas, prostate, ovary and others. More videos and reports in.
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