Promising advance in breast cancer research

November 14, 2005

Two new drugs, when combined, killed up to 75 percent of breast cancer tumor cells in mice and suppressed the regrowth of tumors, according to researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.

The findings, published online Nov. 14 in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, may also have implications for prostate cancer, lymphoma, myeloma and other hematologic cancers.

Paul Dent, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and radiation oncology, led the team. This new study translates its 2002 research that showed early success in the lab and more recently was tested in animals.

In this new study, researchers combined two novel drugs, UCN-01 and a MEK 1/2 inhibitor, which are known to inhibit protein kinases, part of tumor survival signaling pathways.

"In addition to potently inhibiting cells and suppressing tumor growth, these drugs are also part of a modern class of drugs that are less toxic to non-cancerous cells," said Dent. "We are eager to move these exciting findings from the labs to patients."

When studied separately, the drugs only killed a small percent of the cells to which they were exposed. Combined, however, the result was quite startling.

"Within five days, we saw profound tumor cell death," Dent said. "Three researchers in the group operated the same studies independently, and they all saw very similar results."
-end-
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Dent holds the Universal Corp. Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Cell Signalling.

The first author on the paper was William Hawkins, M.S., a VCU research specialist with appointments in biochemistry, anatomy and neurobiology.

To view the abstract and access the full study, visit http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cbt/abstract.php?id=2286.

About the VCU Massey Cancer Center
The VCU Massey Cancer Center, one of 60 National Cancer Institute-designated research institutions, is VCU's focal point for basic and clinical cancer research, education, prevention and cancer health care. Since 1975, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. Its 175 doctors and researchers are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing effective means to prevent, control and ultimately to cure cancer. Visit Massey online at www.vcu.edu/mcc/.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Related Tumors Articles from Brightsurf:

A viable vaccine for tough tumors
While immunotherapies work well for some cancers, others are immune-resistant and condemn patients to the severe side effects of long-term chemo treatment.

Women could conceive after ovarian tumors
Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumours were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows.

Attacking tumors from the inside
A new technology that allows researchers to peer inside malignant tumors shows that two experimental drugs can normalize aberrant blood vessels, oxygenation, and other aspects of the tumor microenvironment in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), helping to suppress the tumor's growth and spread, UT Southwestern researchers report.

Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue.

A solid vaccine for liquid tumors
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a deadly blood cancer that kills most of its victims within five years.

Evolutionarily novel genes work in tumors
A team of scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University studied the evolutionary ages of human genes and identified a new class of them expressed in tumors -- tumor specifically expressed, evolutionarily novel (TSEEN) genes.

Identification of all types of germ cells tumors
Germ cell tumors were considered very heterogeneous and diverse, until recently.

Laser light detects tumors
A team of researchers from Jena presents a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light.

Better prognosticating for dogs with mammary tumors
For dogs with mammary tumors, deciding a course of treatment can depend on a variety of factors, some of which may seem to contradict one another.

The evolution of brain tumors
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center found in a recent study that only three different genetic alterations drive the early development of malignant glioblastomas.

Read More: Tumors News and Tumors Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.