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Plant-derived molecules, genetic manipulation point to future chemoprevention methods

Scientists are using genetic studies and natural chemicals, such as plant-derived triterpenoids, to further our knowledge on how genetic and early molecular interactions can lead to cancer, and how those early interactions can be manipulated to stave off a variety of cancers. The latest studies with new and promising chemopreventive agents were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting today.

Trterpenoids and the rexinoid LG100268 prevent lung tumors induced by vinyl carbamate in strain A/J mice

New synthetic drugs called triterpenoids which owe their origins to plant molecules have demonstrated their effectiveness in slowing the growth of lung cancer tumors, a research team from Dartmouth University has found.

Following up on previous work showing strong links between inflammation and the development of cancer, Karen Liby, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow, and her colleagues found that the triterpenoid CDDO-MA, currently undergoing trails for leukemia and solid tumors (sponsored by Reata Pharmaceuticals), significantly reduced the number and sizes of tumors in mice. In addition, a chemically related drug developed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals called LG100268 was effective at preventing tumor growth.

"Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States," said Liby. "Since the mortality from this disease is significant, and prognoses are poor once a patient has been diagnosed, prevention may provide the only avenues to combat this particular cancer. We think this study shows a promising role for triterpenoids and the drug LG100268 in stopping lung tumor growth."

The scientists knew that the compounds had anti-inflammatory properties and that LG100268 in particular could stop certain types of breast cancer in animal models. The compounds inhibited inflammation in a number of ways: halting nitric oxide production, blocking cyclooxygenase and ni
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Source:American Association for Cancer Research


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