Doctors researching the mechanics of lung cancer’s early phases have discovered a novel possible therapy that may also assist in the disease’s early identification. When malignant mutations arise in cells, a study led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh discovered that the protein TLR2 helps govern some of the body’s defence processes.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University College London, the University of Cantabria in Spain, the Spanish National Research Council, and the Mayo Clinic collaborated on the study.
The journal Cell Reports published the findings, “Toll-like receptor 2 orchestrates a tumour suppressor response in non-small cell lung cancer”.
A new way for the Detection of Lung Cancer
“Improving survival requires focusing on early-stage lung cancer,” the researchers said. “However, the mechanisms and components of the early tumour suppressor response in lung cancer remain unknown.” We investigate the involvement of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), a regulator of oncogene-induced senescence and a crucial tumour suppressor response in premalignancy, in this article. We show that TLR2 is activated early in lung carcinogenesis and corresponds with enhanced survival and clinical regression using human lung cancer samples and genetically modified mice models.”
The protein is associated with senescence, a process in which cells stop growing and release a range of substances and other proteins that function as warning signs and cancer defences.
After determining the significance of TLR2, the researchers analysed data from human tumour samples to establish that individuals with high levels of protein in the early stages of lung cancer had a higher chance of surviving than those with lower levels.
The researchers next utilised a medication known to activate TLR2 in a lung cancer animal model. Researchers discovered that the medication inhibited the development of lung tumours.
Researchers’ statement on this research
The researchers stated that more study is needed, such as clinical studies to establish if the medicine is beneficial in humans.
“I believe these results are incredibly intriguing,” said Fraser Millar, PhD. He is a clinical lecturer in respiratory medicine at the University of Edinburgh. We know very little about the biology of early lung cancer, and by learning more about it, we may be able to develop a novel treatment for this deadly illness. This initiative emphasises the importance of fundamental scientific research and how it might lead to new therapies for patients.”