In cancer treatment, there is often more than one treatment or drug being given. The name of the game is to kill cancer cells and stop the progression of the disease. A recent study at Harvard University looked at the timing of cancer treatments and how they affected the tumor suppressor protein p53. When p53 is present in the right amounts cancer cells die. The problem is the presence of MDMX which prevents p53 from being effective.
While the answer might seem obvious, in that MDMX must be inhibited, some studies show that even knocking out this protein does not increase levels of p53. Why is that? Timing. Levels of the two antagonists are dependent on when they are observed. By observing the oscillating levels of p53, treatments can be timed to provide optimum cancer killing.