Research conducted by the Vatican’s Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital of Rome has made an important breakthrough in cancer research and has now discovered the one missing piece of information about the process through which cells, including cancer cells, mature and reproduce. The cell reproduction cycle consists of a series of events that are linked and finely regulated that lead to cell division which is vital for every organism’s growth, renewing skin, blood and organs. The cell cycle is regulated by the cyclins, a group of proteins classifies by the  letters “A”, ”B”, “C”, etc. Each cyclin does a piece of the work of cell division and are produced and then destroyed until a new daughter cell is born. Almost all of the cyclin regulation was understood except for “D” which has been studied for decades and has had many theories about it. Researchers at the Gesú Hospital led by Professor Francesco Cecconi, suspected that the lack of or low amounts of a molecule called Ambra1 found in some defects of the cell cycle might be keeping protein cyclin “D” from being destroyed when it should and instead accumulate and then causing cells to divide at an uncontrolled rate where DNA is damaged and the formation of tumor masses is triggered. Research was done on hundreds of samples using animal models, cells produced in the laboratory, tumor cells from animals and humans and a combination of advanced techniques such as imaging, microscopy, fluorescence, genetic engineering, biochemistry and histology. The study found that an imbalance of the two proteins Ambra1 and Cyclin “D” lead to tumors. That finding was confirmed by two other international studies one in New York and one in San Francisco, which from different starting points reached the same conclusion. Because there are no drugs currently available to restore the correct balance between the two proteins, researchers have identified an alternative solution to attacking the weak points of cancer cells, the repair system. Cancer cells divide at a great speed and generate a series of errors in their DNA that get gradually corrected by a system of enzymes present in all cells of the human body. However, if that repair process is blocked, the diseased cells accumulate so many defects that they self-destruct. Specific drugs which are already in use in some therapies could be tried to suppress the ability of tumor cells repair themselves, as Professor Cecconi put it “exploiting their Achilles heel, namely that same genomic instability that induced them to proliferate