A simple colorimetric test has been developed by a team of researchers at the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, University of Bath, UK, for allowing cancer research to progress much faster.
During prostate cancer, there is an increased level of AMACR (alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase) protein that is widely used as a biomarker in biopsy tissues. The growth of the cancer cells can be reduced by lowering the levels of this protein. But it is difficult to monitor the functional levels of AMACR. This protein has also been found to be associated with other types of cancers such as breast, colon but the exact role is not defined.
Scientists at the University of Bath have created a simple colorimetric assay that turns a clear liquid into bright yellow due to the presence of this functional protein.
With this new test, the functional levels of AMACR can be tracked and new treatments can be developed likewise. AMACR can now be studied as a drug target for curing prostate cancer. Potential drugs can now be effectively studied by blocking the functional levels of this protein. This new colorimetric assay will provide a better assessment of AMACR protein in samples, which was otherwise being poorly understood.