At least three essential differences exist between the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of normal and neoplastic human tissues, in vitro, a Buffalo research team has found.
Although the significance of these differences is not yet clear, they open new potential avenues of attack for cancer chemotherapy, according to Julian L. Ambrus, MD, PhD.
The DNA differences, reported by Dr. Ambrus at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics sessions in Philadelphia are:
Neoplastic DNA has a smaller mean molecular weight:
It has a more rigid configuration than normal DNA:
It is a more efficient "primer" for new DNA than is the nucleic acid in a normal cell.
"This last difference may be related to the increased growth rate of most cancers," he explained. "We are currently at work on developing drugs which would slow or inhibit this process."
Tissues used in the Buffalo study were taken from patients scheduled for