CANCER AND CELL GROWTH
Cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell growth and has become one of the most common diseases of our time. According to the WHO, more than 18 million people worldwide fell ill in 2018 alone. The WHO expects more than 21 million people to develop malignant tumors annually from 2030 onwards.
One of the most important problems of oncology is the spread of the primary tumor due to metastases. This process involves the deposition and transport of viable tumor cells from the primary tumor, most commonly via the bloodstream and subsequent growth, usually in other organs. Metastases are the main reason for a fatal course of the disease.
In order to be able to divide, most growing cells require the presence of special proteins called growth factors. Such must be transported by the blood circulation to the growing cells and supplied to them from the outside. The lack of access to such factors inhibits cell growth and causes the death of cells in the division cycle. Growth factors are usually not freely dissolved in the blood.
Cells in the division cycle therefore have special devices to capture the delivery vehicle of the growth factors. This applies to normal growing cells, but also to tumor cells. Resting cells lack this ability.
Blocking access to growth factors by disrupting their transport path is an important issue in our new projected therapy. Cell Receptor AG owns important intellectual property for this purpose.