14/11/2011 08:06 GMT

New KG5 Drug Brings Fresh Hope To Cancer Sufferers With Aggressive Tumours

Scientists have developed a new cancer drug that kills aggressive and deadly tumours by altering the structure of the cancer growth protein.

Researchers from the University of San Diego have created a drug that rivals the current drug called RAF, which merely blocks the activity of the tumour. The new drug, KG5, is able to change the shape of the protein and neutralise the tumour.

The KG5 drug has only so far been tested in laboratory cell lines, animals and tissue samples from patients.

However, the findings have scientists hoping that it could help treat a wide range of the fastest growing and most aggressive cancers, in the future. They also hope that this drug will stop the common problem of cancers developing a resistance to the treatment.

Talking about how they found KG5 more efficient over the current RAF drug, professor David Cheresh from the study said, "It's an unusual discovery, one that really challenges current dogma. In essence, we are attacking an important enzyme in a whole new way and thereby discovering new things this enzyme was intended for."

Different variants of KG5 have already been discovered and scientists are hoping these more potent versions will soon enter clinical trials.

The research was published in the Nature Medicine journal.