Are We Attacking Cancer The Wrong Way?

microscopic image of cells dying via apoptosis

Most cancer treatments cause cancer cells to self-destruct in a type of cell death called apoptosis. However, researchers at the University of Glasgow have identified a different, more effective way to initiate cell death.

Therapies that induce cell death through apoptosis often do not succeed in destroying all cancer cells. The cells that survive these treatments may be treatment-resistant, causing dangerous regrowth of tumors. Researchers are now rethinking this approach; instead of triggering cell death through apoptosis, they hope to trigger it through a process called Caspase-Independent Cell Death (CICD). Unlike apoptosis, CICD causes inflammation, arousing the attention of the immune system. With the immune system fully engaged, this method has been shown to eliminate all of the cancer cells in animal models.

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