Lung cancer treatment: A new study shows how the lung can fight off cancer, but there’s still work to be done
Experts from the University of California, San Francisco, and Columbia University have found that lung cancer cells can be destroyed by inhaling CO2 in an experiment that could one day help prevent lung cancer.
In a study published today in the journal Nature, researchers from UC San Francisco and Columbia’s Tisch School of Medicine were able to show that CO2 inhaled by the lung is able to kill lung cancer-causing cells, which they call COX-2.
The researchers used a lung biopsy to demonstrate that cells in the lung are able to produce and metabolize CO2, and that this CO2 can then be destroyed, or ‘deleted,’ by the COX enzymes, which are present in CO2-contaminated lung tissue.
This is because the cells in lung tissue are unable to convert CO2 to CO2 and CO2 metabolites, which can then turn to carbon dioxide in the lungs.
This allows the cells to survive the inhaled CO2 for longer periods of time.
This process is called apoptosis.
The study found that COX inhibitors can also help to prevent the cancerous cells from growing and forming new tumors.
It is important to note that while these studies are promising, the scientists are only able to demonstrate the effect of CO2 on COX1 in the CO2/COX2 experiment, and they do not yet know the full effects of these compounds on CO2 uptake and COX2 production.
The research was conducted by Dr. John A. Schaffner, MD, PhD, and Dr. Anya R. Kagan, PhD. The paper can be read here.
“A number of researchers have previously shown that the lung cancer cell can be killed by CO2 inhalation, but the results have been conflicting,” said Dr. Schiffner.
“Our work is the first to show COX inhibition in vivo in vivo, and to demonstrate it to be effective against lung cancer.”
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the NIH, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.