A PHD student from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, Caitlin Miron, 28, made a huge breakthrough in cancer treatment. This promising chemistry student discovered a chemical component which has the power to destroy cancerous cells and prevent their spreading. She was awarded with an Outstanding Innovation award by Mitacs, a Canadian non-profit organization for her discovery.
The Findings from Miron’s Study
She studied the component with the help of advanced screening technology and during her internship, she found that the component attaches to 4-stranded DNA structure, also known as the guanine quadruplex. It is important to note that this component was previously associated with cancer and other illnesses.
How Did Miron Make the Discovery?
According to her report, we should think of a bead necklace as a DNA chain and imagine the beads moving freely until they reach a knot. The beads are cell machinery which will process DNA parts and translate it to proteins with cancer-causing effects in the cells and tissues. The breakthrough is that she found superglue that holds together the knots and averts the ‘beads’ from entering the DNA section where they can multiply.
The Studies on Quadruplex Binders
For more than 30 years, scientists have been researching quadruplex binders, but there were no positive results, until this breakthrough. In the last 10 years, researchers found that these ‘knots’ create before areas known as oncogenes or genes which produce proteins that lead to the development of cancer and metastasis. However, they can be untangled and this is where the superglue can help.
Together with her team, the student filed a patent for the significant discovery and a formal patent may be ready in approximately a year. The team hopes that in 5 to 8 years this compound may be available commercially for cancer patients.