Local researchers discover reason behind radiation resistance in lung cancer cells

Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate
of any cancer in Korea,… and in most countries. Eighty-five percent of people diagnosed with
lung cancer die within five years, in part because the effectiveness of radiotherapy
varies from person to person. Buit now, a group of researchers here in Korea
say they have found the source of radiation resistance, which could open a new pathway
for lung cancer treatment. Sohn Jung-in reports.
This patient with lung cancer is undergoing treatment with radiation therapy.
It is one of the most commonly used methods for treating cancer, however the results among
patients vary. The problem is that doctors can’t predict
the effectiveness of radiotherapy unless the patient undergoes the treatment. “Even when patients are diagnosed with the
same type of cancer, they may see different results from the treatment based on the body’s
resistance to radiation.” Now, a group of local researchers has found
a reason for this. They’ve found a protein called HRP-3 that
helps cancerous cells survive the treatment. When they suppressed the HRP-3, the amount
of active oxygen surged, resulting in a reduction of cancer cells by 20 percent.
And after radiation was applied, more than 40 percent of the cancer cells died. “A gene called HRP-3 is directly related to
radiation resistance. We found that we can reduce radiation resistance by suppressing
the gene, regardless of the characteristics of individual cancer patients.” The researchers plan to develop a diagnostic
kit that can predict the effectiveness of radiotherapy prior to the treatment, and they
plan to commercialize the device within the next two years.
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.