Compound that rapidly kills liver cancer discovered
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Scientists have identified a compound that rapidly kills hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, the most common form of liver cancer, while sparing healthy tissue. The compound, Factor Qunolinone Inhibitor 1 (FQI1), works by inhibiting an oncogene. Recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study demonstrates that HCC cells have what is known as an "oncogene addiction" to the transcription factor Late SV40 Factor (LSF). Oncogene addiction is a term used when a cancer cell is found to be dependent on a single gene to survive. Using the compound Factor Quinolinone Inhibitor 1 (FQI1), the scientists prevented LSF from binding to HCC DNA during the transcription process, which is the first step in a series of actions that lead to cell division and duplication. This action caused rapid HCC cell death in laboratory experiments and a dramatic reduction in tumor growth in mouse models with no observable toxicity to normal liver cells.