Israeli researchers at Hebrew University say they have reached a breakthrough in how to fight cancer. While it might have been clear already that RNA-binding proteins play a major role in cancer growth, no cancer treatment has targeted these proteins until now.

“Our technology is a new approach in the war on cancer,” said Professor Rotem Karni.

“By understanding the biological function of RNA–binding proteins we successfully designed decoy molecules that inhibit these proteins and move us ever closer to creating an anti-cancer drug,” he added.

Prof. Karni and his HU Institute for Medical Research-Israel Canada team, led by Ph.D. student Polina Cohen-Denichenko, developed “several decoy molecules which inhibit the RNA-binding proteins that speed-up brain and breast cancer growth,” says a statement released by the university.

“To test the decoys, they treated brain cancer cells with decoy molecules. When the cells were then injected into healthy mice, the cancer cells did not replicate and, soon after, the tumors died off,” according to the statement.

Prof. Karni says that though his team focused on brain and breast cancer, his technology enables scientists to “tailor-make” decoys for other types of cancer, as well.