published : 2023-11-16

In potential cancer breakthrough, newly found ‘kill switch’ triggers death of cancer cells: ‘One-two punch'

The receptor, called CD95, could improve the effectiveness of immune-based therapies

A photo of a scientist working in a laboratory, examining cancer cells under a microscope. (Taken with Nikon D850)

Researchers at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Sacramento, California have made a groundbreaking discovery in the fight against cancer.

In a study published in the journal Cell Death & Differentiation, scientists have identified a protein on the CD95 receptor that can trigger the death of cancer cells.

This newly found 'kill switch' has been named in honor of cancer patient Anna Healey.

CD95 receptors, also known as 'death receptors,' send a signal that causes cancer cells to self-destruct.

A close-up image of the CD95 receptor protein, highlighting its structure and function. (Taken with Canon EOS R)

Previous attempts to target this receptor have been unsuccessful, but now scientists have identified a potential therapeutic path forward.

By boosting the activity of CD95 receptors, researchers hope to create a powerful weapon against tumors.

This discovery could significantly enhance the effectiveness of immune-based therapies, which have shown limited success against many cancer types.

Current treatments for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but they have their limitations.

A group of researchers discussing the potential of immune-based therapies in treating cancer. (Taken with Sony Alpha A7 III)

The new 'kill switch' could lead to more innovative and effective treatments that could save countless lives.

While no CD95-boosting drugs have made it into clinical trials yet, this discovery opens up new possibilities for cancer research and treatment.

With further research and development, it is possible that this 'kill switch' could become the next breakthrough in cancer therapy.