The new method, reported in the latest issue of the journal Science, involves a certain protein called Tudor-SN and the gene-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9.
On a closer look, the researchers found out how Tudor-SN is important in the "preparatory" phase of the cell cycle, the period when the cell gets ready to divide, according to the new study.
"We know that Tudor-SN is more abundant in cancer cells than healthy cells, and our study suggests that targeting this protein could inhibit fast-growing cancer cells," Reyad A. Elbarbary, lead author of the study and research assistant professor in the Center for RNA Biology and the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, said in a statement.
The findings were made in kidney and cervical cancer cells in the laboratory and are a long way from being applied to people. But the researchers said they could be the basis of a treatment option in the future.
This story was first published in the Global Times.