With hopes fading for development of a magic bullet to knock out cancer a single medicine targeted to the individual genetics of each patient researchers are increasingly looking toward cocktails of medication that attack different vulnerabilities in a tumor. A new class of potent tumor-blocking drugs, called Met inhibitors, are emerging as likely staple ingredients of those cancer-fighting cocktails of the future, according to an article [http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/85/8534cover.html]scheduled for the Aug. 20 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS weekly newsmagazine.
In the article, C&EN associate editor Lisa Jarvis cites a growing body of research suggesting that a dangerous Met (short for metastatic) protein keeps cancer cells alive and helps the disease spread from the original tumor to distant parts of the body. Researchers have recently developed several Met inhibitors and early evidence from a handful of clinical trials suggests that these agents can stabilize, and in some cases, shrink tumors. They may even be effective in cases where cancer is resistant to common treatments, according to the article.
Given Mets vast medical and commercial potential, the drug industry is finally starting to take notice, the article notes. These inhibitors are particularly promising given the wide range of cancers they may address. Researchers are moving ahead in the critical work of identifying patients who would best respond to the drugs in the hope of bringing Met inhibitors to market in the years ahead, the article states.
ARTICLE #11 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, Aug. 20, 2007 One pill, many uses: Small molecules blocking the Met receptor could have an impact on a wide range of cancers
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American Chemical Society