Saturday, November 1, 2014

Effective New Anti-Cancer Drug

News Brief by Kathryn Gibb
Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a new drug, OTS964, which looks promising for fighting certain aggressive cancers.  Yusuke Nakamura, one of the lead researchers and a professor at the university, described how the research team transplanted human cancers into mice. 

The main cancer that the team looked at was an aggressive form of lung cancer.  The team tested the drug by having the mice take it by mouth or in an intravenous form.  The drug was effective taken both ways, however there were fewer side effects with the intravenous form.  The drug targets TOPK, a protein that is vital in the last stage of cell division for cancer.  By targeting this protein, the drug prevents cancer cells from completing cell division, The cancer cells die during this last stage of cell division.  The team described the drug’s efficacy as exciting, because it leads to the complete regression of tumors in the mice.  While the team focused on TOPK in lung cancers, it’s important to note that this protein is present in many aggressive cancers, such as breast or brain cancer.

Former research with this drug had shown some harmful side effects such as an increased production of platelets (blood cells that clot), as well as the disruption of white and red blood cell production.  However, Nakamura’s research team discovered that they were able to enclose the drug in liposomes which then prevented these harmful side effects.  By Fall 2015, Nakamura’s team hopes to begin clinical trials of the drugs. 

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Highly effective new anti-cancer drug shows few side effects in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2014. .
blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP