Belgian researchers make important cancer treatment discovery


A team of researchers at the Université Libre de Bruxelles has discovered that a particular protein could play a key role in resistance to chemotherapy.

The team, which acted under the supervision of Prof. Cédric Blanpain, noticed that expression of a protein known as RhoJ was elevated in cancer cells that are resistant to a certain form of chemotherapy.

Specifically, this RhoJ was high in cancer cells that express EMT, a process that involves epithelial cells detaching and becoming invasive.

When “silencing” the aforementioned protein, as first author Maud Debaugnies and her colleagues put it, the evidence suggests that the chemotherapy can effectively do its job.

It turns out that RhoJ can activate a process that leads to cancer cells repairing themselves instead of suffering DNA damage thanks to chemotherapy.

This discovery could have a major impact on future cancer treatments and the development of new forms of chemotherapy.

Congratulations to this Belgian team of researchers, whose study was published in the prestigious Nature magazine.

Did you know that Prof. Blanpain will be presented with the Momentum Award 2023 (by the International Society for Stem Cell Research) in June 2023 for his research into stem cells?