A new goal has been reached in the Candiolo Institute, a historic centre specialized in cancer treatment and located in the metropolitan area of Turin. The team of researchers of the University of Turin and the Institute has synthesized a new version of Semaphorin, a human protein which plays the role of a signaling molecule (hence its name). It is also used in the neuronal differentiation at an embryonic level.
Semaphorin plays an active role in therapies against cancer thanks to its ability to normalize cancer blood vessels. However, its natural version is not perfectly suitable to therapies due to its side effects. Its synthesized version, Semaphorin 3A A106K, was presented and described by the reseachers in an article published on Science Translation Medicine, an important international magazine of this field.
Guido Serini, Enrico Girando and Luca Tamagnone, professors at the University of Turin and heads of three research labs at Candiolo Institute, FPO-IRCCS, have also demonstrated the ability of the mutant SEMA3A to inhibit the progression of cancer cells, improving chemotherapy effects on lab rats affected by pancreatic cancer.