UAM student proposes to treat cancer with a new molecule

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A student of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) proposed to deal with Liver cancer through a new molecule, known as growth factor and differentiation 11 (GDF11, for its acronym in English).

Monserrat Gerardo Ramírez, student of Doctorate in Experimental Biology from the UAMHe indicated that the GDF11 molecule is an entity capable of subtracting the aggressive characteristics in cells derived from patients with Liver cancer.

By applying a treatment with GDF11, the “migration and invasion capacity” of the cells is significantly reduced, representing a potential alternative to metastasis.

In cases of liver cancer, one of the main challenges facing research lies in finding specific markers that allow early detection of the disease to undertake a more effective treatment.

Therefore, the possibility of decreasing the aggressiveness of cells treated with GDF11, a phenomenon closely related to metastasis, the molecule has been proposed as a tool with tumor suppressor properties.

In Mexico, liver cancer ranks fifth in cause of death due to the diet of the population, worldwide it occupies the fourth place.

In addition, it is a highly violent condition for which there are not yet efficient methods of early detection or improved therapies.

“One of our purposes is to look for some kind of specific marker that makes it possible to find it in early stages to treat it more easily”, which would result in an improved quality of life for the individual.

“The existing treatments -quimio and radiotherapy- have among their secondary effects the deterioration of the living conditions of the patients, for which reason we look for specific therapeutic options”, explained the student.

The project developed in the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology of the Department of Health Sciences of the Iztapalapa Unit, under the direction of doctors Luis Enrique Gómez Quiroz and María Concepción Gutiérrez Ruiz, found that GDF11 reduces many of the problems that cancer causes advanced, especially the processes of tumor invasion and growth.

GDF11 is a natural protein of the human organism whose production decreases with age, so its reincorporation into the system induces effects such as those characterized in the investigation.

The molecule is responsible for reducing – through a mechanism dependent on the molecular path known as Smad – the characteristics that make up the tumor, so that they are less aggressive, so there is confidence that by causing the reduction of the growth process, the The repercussions of the GDF11 can be accompanied in the future by the procedures in use, although much less violent for the patient.


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