Cancer can present itself in several forms, including common types like breast cancer or lung cancer as well as many rare cancers. Each form requires targeted, specialized treatment, and it is often difficult to find broader solutions that hold the potential to combat a variety of cancers. Fortunately, one recent discovery around the observed relationship between the Klotho protein and the growth of tumors in the body holds enormous potential.
What is the Klotho Protein?
The Klotho protein is best known for its cellular anti-aging properties. People who have experienced the effects of premature cell aging, including the most common diseases of aging, are often Klotho deficient. Conversely, when enough Klotho is present in the system, Klotho proteins help to protect cells and the organs they comprise in a variety of ways.
Experiments conducted on mice revealed that those in possession of increased amounts of the Klotho protein had a lifespan that lasted 30% longer than the average mouse. This factor is especially promising when researchers are searching for new treatments for diseases linked to aging, including neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and adult-onset diseases like type 2 diabetes. Current research has revealed implications regarding the ability of the Klotho protein to help patients suffering from cancer as well.
Klotho and Cancer
There are a number of similarities among the ways in which most forms of cancer and the cell aging process progress. In both cases, a primary factor is the cell deterioration that can cause extensive DNA damage over time. In cancer, this damage leads to rapid mutation and proliferation of mutated cells, which results in the formation of cancerous tumors.
Several studies have revealed that the presence of cancerous tumors often correlates with a decreased amount of Klotho protein in the system, the same pattern observed in the presence of aging-related diseases. Subsequently, increasing the amount of Klotho could prove effective in suppressing tumor growth. Additional research on the subject aims to determine to what extent Klotho can function as a tumor suppressor, but researchers believe Klotho therapy has exciting implications for the future of cancer treatment.
Which Cancers Could Experience Suppression by Klotho?
Klotho protein therapy could be used to aid patients with many of the most prevalent and deadly cancers, including:
- Colorectal cancer. This deadly cancer forms in the cells of the colon. Currently, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death, with a survival rate below 10%.
- Breast cancer. Cancerous breast masses develop when abnormal cell growth and proliferation occurs in the female or male breast tissue. Breast cancer is prevalent, comprising nearly a third of new cancer diagnoses in women.
- Lung cancer. Beginning in the lungs, lung cancer can affect many parts of the respiratory system. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women, as well as a primary cause of mortality.
- Melanoma. This cancer forms in the cells of the skin known as melanocytes and can be difficult to detect. Melanoma is rapidly rising in prevalence and is currently the fifth-leading cancer diagnosis.
- Cervical cancer. After forming in the cells of the cervix, cervical cancer can cause unusual vaginal bleeding, bloody discharge, and sudden pelvic pain. Unfortunately, it is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in women under 40.
- Glioma. Cancerous glial tumors form in the glial cells of the brain and spinal cord. This rare cancer has an extremely low survival rate, with only 5% of patients surviving five years.
Suppressing the growth of these cancers is the key to keeping them localized, which increases the effectiveness of the cancer treatment options available. While there is still much information to learn, the discoveries thus far shed an incredibly positive light on Klotho therapy’s potential within the future of cancer treatment. Someday soon, Klotho therapy may be a vital step in the prevention and treatment of the above cancers and many more.