Scientists at the University of Barcelona (UB) identified a new biomarker for personalized treatments against cancer, which induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) and reduce the size of the tumor.
The research, led by Antonio Zorzano, professor at the Faculty of Biology at the UB and head of the Laboratory of Complex Metabolic Diseases and Mitochondria at the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona), reveals that the TP53INP2 protein plays an important role in the induction of apoptosis.
According to the study published in The EMBO Journal, high levels of TP53INP2 in cells lead to an acceleration of apoptosis, when certain receptors located in the cell membrane are activated. On the other hand, cells that do not have this protein are more resistant to death, explained the scientist.
This protein could increase the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy treatments, as is the case of TRAIL, a therapy with great potential as a possible cancer treatment. TRAIL is a cytokine that is produced and secreted by most normal tissue cells. It causes apoptosis primarily in tumor cells, by binding to certain death receptors.
Researchers at IRB Barcelona have confirmed the relationship between high levels of TP53INP2 and a better response to treatment with TRAIL in liver and breast cancer cells.
At present, personalized medicine, which allows medical treatment to adapt to the individual characteristics of each patient, is presented as one of the health strategies with the greatest potential.