Turkish scientist makes discoveries on cancer treatment
Turkish scientist Prof. Dr. Ali Mazhar Adlı, who conducts studies at the University of Virginia in the U.S., has made two significant discoveries on the treatments of pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency in Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province, where he is going to participate in a scientific meeting organized by SANKO University, Adlı said he had been focusing on how cancer can be destroyed and how alternate drugs against the disease can be developed.
The Turkish scientist had graduated from Middle East Technical University. After receiving his PhD from Harvard University, he moved to University of Virginia where he has been experimenting in his own lab for the past six years.
Noting that he used CRISPR technology, which offers the opportunity to change the genetic information of the living cell, Adlı said he is also developing new technologies in this field.
“With the help of CRISPR technology, we are able to go to the cell nucleus and change the genetic information in the cell. Let’s take a genetic information as a library. Through this technology, we can go to a random book in the library and sensitively change the 5th word in the 3rd page of it,” he said.
“Our goal is to understand how genetic information operates in a normal cell and how this information causes cancerous cell. Should we fully comprehend this, we will be able to prevent various genetic diseases including cancer,” he said.
Adlı pointed out that he had a particular focus on the pancreatic and ovarian cancers, and he was studying to develop treatments for these cancer types.
“Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest type, 80 percent of those suffer with this cancer die within a year; there is no medication to it, unfortunately. The drugs are the same ones that have been out for the past 40 years. Sadly, there are no alternative drugs or drug combinations yet,” he added.
“One of the goals I set while establishing my lab was pancreatic cancer. We have to implement our findings into the clinic. If we combine our medication with the already used one, we are able to kill cancerous cells a hundred times more. This finding means that we could have the same impact with 100 percent less chemotherapy dose given to the patient,” the academic said.
Adlı said there was also a new finding on ovarian cancer, noting that the fresh medication would eradicate cancer after the tumor was taken away and treatment was completed.