Dec 16, 2019

Study shows how mitochondria can shield cancer cells from chemotherapy

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Chemotherapy is a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer, but the complex nature of the disease means that it doesn’t always produce the desired result. Scientists at the Salk Institute have been researching some of the cellular processes behind these evasive abilities, uncovering a new mechanism that could pave the way for new treatments that see chemotherapy maintain the upper hand.

The work was carried out at the Salk Institute’s Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, where medical scientists led by Gerry Shadel set out to investigate the role mitochondria might play in the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Mitochondria is best known as the power generator of the vast majority of cells, but the scientists have found that it can also act as an early warning sign when something’s not quite right. While most of the DNA we carry is packed inside the nucleus of the cell, mitochondria packs its own small set of DNA, called mtDNA.

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