Extracellular biomarker discovery to develop a specific therapeutic treatment in cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide with approximately 8 million deaths in 2010. Most cancer treatments lack specificity and affect the whole body, with toxic effects on both cancerous and normal cells. Although new therapies are emerging, targeting cancer cells is a challenge because of the lack of specific markers on cancer cells. Biomark Technologies Inc. has found that the expression levels of the gene coding for the protein SSAT 1 is upregulated in cancer cells. The inhibition of this protein is detrimental for the survival of cancer cells, making it an attractive target for cancer treatment. In this proposal we aim to find novel cancer cell markers in order to develop treatments that will recognize cancer cells and allow internalization of the drug to inhibit the activity of SSAT 1 ultimately causing the death of the cancer.