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How can we kill cancer cells but not healthy cells?

  • Researcher: Dr Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo
  • Institution: CNIO
  • Award Amount: £115,500 for 3 years from January 2012
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
How can we kill cancer cells but not healthy cells?
One of the reasons that many cancer treatments have such severe side effects is that they kill healthy cells rather than just the cancerous ones. Researchers are therefore working hard to find things that make the cancer cells unique, then trying to make drugs that selectively kill them and leave the others unharmed. One of the ways that cancer cells are unique is that they often have large amounts of DNA that gets damaged when it is copied and which is not repaired as it is in healthy cells. Dr Fernandez-Capetillo is using his Worldwide Cancer Research grant to investigate this type of damaged DNA to see if it could be targeted for cancer treatment.
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