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In two papers released in the journal PNAS, the research team examined factors which mean that the most common type of lung cancer – itself the most common cause of cancer deaths – is resistant to a cytokine called TRAIL that causes cell death in many other types of tumour.
The researchers found that in non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for around 85 percent of cases, a small RNA molecule called miR-148a is suppressed in TRAIL resistant cells, but that when used together, miR-148a sensitises tumour cells to TRAIL and results in the tumour shrinking.
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Source: University of Manchester