Cancer and heart disease are two of the monsters claiming the lives of millions of people every year. Although a lot of research is being made and awareness programs are conducted, it is becoming increasingly difficult to curb these diseases.

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Cancer fighting gene discovered

However, a recent research has brought a little hope as a  group of researchers have discovered a gene that can help change the way blood vessels form which can slow the growth of cancer cells or slow down clogs in the blood vessels of the heart.

Professor David Beech, of the School of Medicine at Leeds, head of the research said, “Blood vessel networks are not already pre-constructed but emerge rather like a river system. Vessels do not develop until the blood is already flowing and they are created in response to the amount of flow.”

The gene Piezo1 under consideration instructs the sensors that detect the blood flow to signal the body to form blood vessels to regulate the flow. When the gene gives the instruction, the protein that forms the vessels organizes itself and forms channels which open when there is a strain in the flow of blood letting tiny electrical charges to enter the cells, triggering the development of blood vessels.

The team has just discovered the gene functions and further research is required to find out ways to manipulate the gene in order to instruct not to form blood vessels that will supply blood to the cancer cells and tumours and also about the clogs in the arteries of the heart.

“Blood flow has a major effect on the health of the arteries it passes through. Arteries are more likely to become diseased in areas where the flow is disturbed, for example,” said Prof. Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation. Manipulating the gene can help make the arteries irresponsive to the change in blood flow.