New Drug Combo Could Make Cancer More Sensitive to Chemo


science-8

Researchers at the University of Manchester carefully studied a network of proteins that kick into action when cancer cells in the lab are treated with a class of chemotherapy drugs called taxanes*. These drugs are commonly used to treat several cancers – including breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. But not all cancers respond to them, and it’s difficult to predict which patients will benefit.

The Cancer Research UK-funded scientists teased apart this network in a range of cancers** to try and find out why some can survive taxane-based chemotherapy.

The team identified one particular component of this network – a protein called Bcl-xL – which helps the cancer cells survive treatment by blocking the self-destruct process that normally kills cells when treated with chemotherapy drugs.

By combining drugs to block Bcl-xL with taxanes, the researchers showed that the combination of treatments killed far more cancer cells in the lab than taxanes alone.

Study leader Professor Stephen Taylor, Cancer Research UK Senior Research Fellow and Leech Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Manchester, said: “This important research shows us there’s potential to boost the cancer-fighting power of chemotherapy – and do more with less.

“This new combination could ‘soften-up’ cancer cells, making it easier for chemotherapy to deliver the final blow and destroy the tumour. And the good news is that drugs targeting Bcl-xL are already out there and being tested in clinical trials.

“Using this combination of drugs could improve treatment for patients receiving taxanes and lower their chemotherapy dose, which would also help to reduce side-effects.”

Dr Emma Smith, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Predicting which patients will benefit most from different types of chemotherapy is essential if we’re going to make cancer treatments more effective and kinder.

“In cases where patients don’t benefit from taxane-based chemotherapy, doctors could add drugs that target Bcl-xL to overcome cancer’s defences. It’s still early days for this research but, if the results are confirmed in clinical trials, it has the potential to improve treatment for thousands of cancer patients.”

*Examples of taxane chemotherapy agents include paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere)

**The researchers studied the effects of taxenes in cell lines derived from colon, lung, breast, cervical and ovarian cancers.

Source: Cancer Research UK

 

Advertisements

About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 16 July, 2015, in Blog, Research and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Please help us to Raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by Commenting and Sharing

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: