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p53: Guardian of the Genome

The tumour-suppressing protein called p53, also known as the guardian of the genome, protects our cells from cellular damage. Under cellular stress, p53 jumps into action, regulating gene expression to control DNA repair, cell division and cell death.

But, p53 malfunction is associated with a vast array of difficult to treat cancers, and these can arise either from mutations in the TP53 gene, or through an overabundance of a regulatory protein that keeps p53 inactive. Unfortunately, there are no catch-all drugs to tackle these types of cancer, but several combination therapies are undergoing research, offering hope for the future.