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Dundee team develop 'super-targeted' tumour treatment

Tumour cells (kidney) Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Researchers were looking for ways to target certain malevolent proteins in cancerous cells

Dundee University scientists have developed a super-targeted method of destroying tumour cells.

Researchers have found a way to wipe out malevolent proteins in cancerous tumours without collateral damage to surrounding proteins.

The technique uses a small molecule, known as MZ1, which destroys the BRD4 protein, while leaving others intact.

Doctors said this "significant breakthrough" could provide safer treatments free from side-effects.

Dr Alessio Ciulli, from the university's College of Life Sciences, said it was an "exciting time" in the field, with further breakthroughs in similar research being made in the United States.

He said: "The ability to target BRD4 selectively is extremely important as it makes it a much more attractive target for potential treatments for diseases including cancer.

"Current approaches targeting the protein lack this degree of selectivity, which means they may be liable to create unwanted side effects and toxicity.

"This is a significant development and one which will lead to further breakthroughs in an increasingly important area of cancer research."

Image copyright Dundee University
Image caption This chart shows how the "MZ1" compound effectively destroys the BRD4 proteins

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