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Cancer Roundup

November 4, 2005

Science reporter Bob Hirshon reports on two new research efforts that are trying to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Convincing cancer cells to commit suicide. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Cancer occurs when cells multiply out of control, and the body’s natural defenses can’t stop them. Two new studies suggest novel ways to help bolster these defenses. In one, reported by UCLA researchers, an antibody called 1G8 triggered the suicide of prostate cancer cells in laboratory animals.

In similar research, Ohio State scientists are focusing on a gene known as WWOX. It creates a protein that initiates suicide in lung cells that have become cancerous. By turning the gene on in cells that have it, or introducing it into cells that don’t, the team caused the cancer cells to kill themselves. Both studies are still in animal trials, but point to promising new treatments in the fight against cancer. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.