Scientists from Spain are close to developing a more effective means for early detection of oncology, where water use is important.
As a researcher from the Institute of Biophysics, Emilio José Kokinero, two comparable variants of Tn antigens (which occur in 90% of cancer cases) that differ only in one amino acid, or serine or threonine, were studied.
– We saw that antigens behave differently in water. The Tn antigen associated with threonine thus assumes a rigid form in solution due to a water molecule. The reverse reaction takes place with the Tn antigen associated with serine. These differences are not observed in gas phase studies, says Emilio José Kokinero.
According to him, the ability to follow the evolution of the Tn molecule in this way will help to understand the extent to which cancer has developed, and to develop effective tools for early diagnosis of malignant processes.
Scientists have noted that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Tn antigen is naturally present in the body. That is, the immune response to Tn is very low – our body does not see it as a foreign body. However, if the concentration of a dangerous molecule increases, this means that the cancer has developed, reports Eurekalert.
– The ideal scenario for the future involves the creation of synthetic molecules that are not present in the body but have the same structure as the Tn antigen. The body will perceive them as foreign bodies, and will give a greater immune response to the appearance of malignant cells, the researcher concluded.
Recently they spoke at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences about the development of a cancer drug based on cellular immunotherapy.