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RNA breakthrough 'could lead to new cancer drugs'

Cancer treatment could soon be more effective due to a new scientific discovery.

Researchers at the University of Oregon found that an existing drug can be used to target further genetic material within a tumour.

Cisplatin, an anti cancer drug derived from platinum and used in chemotherapy, has long been used to disrupt a cancer cell's DNA and was observed to "bind like glue" to the RNA in cut inside tumours.

"We found that the platinum was retained on the RNA and also bound quickly, being found on the RNA as fast as one hour after treatment," said Victoria DeRose, a chemist who worked on the study.

She now believes the drug could be tailored to become more or less reactive to certain types of RNA and thus help reduce tumour size.

According to Cancer Research UK, somebody is diagnosed with some form of the disease every two minutes in the UK.

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RNA breakthrough 'could lead to new cancer drugs'
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