Former Presidential candidate John McCain was recently diagnosed with a glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma is a brain cancer with a very low survival rate. According to the American brain tumor association, of ten people who have glioblastomas, only one is likely to survive five years.
Through manipulation of enzymes, Glioblastoma cancer cells stop the immune system from responding. But this manipulation helps them stand out from normal cells, and may provide the key to targeting cancer cells.
Researchers from Alabama and China teamed up to research this phenomena after the failure of a previous study. This time, tests on mice and cultures suggest that a drug called CMP3a could target cancer cells without affecting normal brain cells. They hope to perform clinical trials in “a year or two.”
While Glioblastoma is relatively rare, the same technique could be used to fight more common cancers that carry similar enzymes.