Researchers have developed what they say is a fast and inexpensive method to create artificial molecules that mimic the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This is according to a new study published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Lead author Prof. Peter Scott, of the University of Warwick in the UK, and colleagues say the newly created artificial molecules imitate the cancer- and infection-fighting properties of peptides that a healthy body produces naturally.
They have already proven successful against colon cancer cells in laboratory tests, according to the team.
Past research has looked at the use of artificial peptides for cancer treatment, but the team notes there have been some challenges. Artificial peptides have been difficult and expensive to produce in large numbers, for example. Furthermore, when delivered to the body in drug form, they have been quickly neutralized by the body’s biochemical defenses before they have a chance to work.
But in this latest study, Prof. Scott and colleagues detail a new technique that they say can create effective artificial peptides in minutes without the use of expensive equipment.
“The beauty is that these big molecules assemble themselves,” says Prof. Scott. “Nature uses this kind of self-assembly to make complex asymmetric molecules like proteins all the time, but doing it artificially is a major challenge.”
Although the triplexes have proven effective against colon cancer cells, the team says more research is warranted before they can be applied to patients in clinical trials.
Source: Medical News Today