Kansas City researchers find new way to fight cancer

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Kansas City Researchers Find New Way to Fight Cancer

Kansas City, Missouri, researchers have found a new way to combat the second leading cause of death in the U.S.: cancer.

"It's a general strategy I would say, not just for cancer, but for lots of kinds of diseases that evolve," Dr. Rong Li told KSHB.

Basically, scientists make the cancer cells in the body mutate a certain way, so a drug can kill them all.

The Stowers Institute research team's strategy "uses an evolving cell population's adaptive nature against it." Once cells are forced to evolve in one way, they can all be wiped out. Researchers are calling it an "evolutionary trap."

Dr. Rong Li at the Stowers Institute led the study. She originally wanted to be an artist but became a scientist instead. But she says there's a parallel between the two fields.

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"Often, you can't directly see what individual molecules are doing, so you have to come up with indirect readouts and, just as in art, use imagination and creativity to capture the essence of the problem," she said.

Whatever she's doing, it seems to be working. And this latest news on cancer research is just one new cancer strategy we've heard about recently.

In research done by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, scientists have found a way to deliver chemotherapy in high concentrations to certain areas. It uses technology that forces the drugs to go right to the tumor, so there's less of a risk of hurting healthy tissue.

Researchers on Li's team hope their new technique can be used for more than just cancer treatment, but also for things like fungal infections prone to drug resistance.

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