DAVIS (CBS SF) – Researchers at the University of California, Davis said they have developed a molecule that could be effective in fighting a typically fatal type of brain cancer, by causing the cancer cells to self-destruct.

According to a university statement, the molecule was able to kill non-dividing glioma cells that are usually unaffected by conventional treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

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Gliomas are brain tumors that often have a high rate of recurrence despite treatment.

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“We anticipate that it will lead to new treatments to fight cancers that are resistant to standard therapies,” said Nagarekha Pasupuleti of the UC Davis neurology department, lead author of the study.

Preliminary studies in rodents found the molecule effective in battling the tumors without adverse effects. Researchers said they hope to continue studies in dogs with brain cancers.

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The research will be published in the April edition of the journal Molecular Pharmacology.