Navigation Links
Drugs Previously Thought to Be Toxic May Stop Spread of Cancer

FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Two drugs previously thought to be too toxic for human cancer treatment may stop the growth of cancer cells without killing healthy cells and damaging DNA when used in small doses, researchers have found.

Unlike conventional chemotherapy drugs, which poison and kill any rapidly dividing cells by damaging cellular machinery and DNA, these drugs -- azacitidine (AZA) and decitabine (DAC) -- specifically target cancer stem cells, which cause cancer to spread and are resistant to most drugs.

"Low doses of AZA and DAC may reactivate genes that stop cancer growth without causing immediate cell killing or DNA damage," Dr. Stephen Baylin, a professor of oncology and deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, said in a news release from Hopkins.

Although AZA and DAC were dismissed as too toxic for the treatment of common cancers, the drugs have been effective in treating a small number of patients with advanced lung cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome. Based on those positive clinical outcomes, the Johns Hopkins researchers decided to re-evaluate the drugs for use in cancer treatment.

Back in the lab, they treated leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer cell lines with low doses of AZA and DAC for three days. A week later, the treated cells were transplanted into mice and observed for up to 20 weeks.

The researchers found the anticancer effects of the drugs continued long after treatment stopped.

After treatment with AZA and DAC, the cancer cells returned to a more normal state and eventually died, Baylin said.

"Our findings match evidence from recent clinical trials suggesting that the drugs shrink tumors more slowly over time as they repair altered mechanisms in cells and genes return to normal function," Baylin said.

The team noted, however, that more research is needed to determine exactly how the drugs work.

Clinical trials already have begun among patients in advanced stages of breast and lung cancer, the researchers said, and trials in colon cancer patients also are planned.

The researchers noted previous research has shown the drugs could make other anticancer treatments more effective. The drugs could become part of a combined treatment approach for certain cancers, they said.

The findings, which were published recently in the journal Cancer Cell, are expected to be presented Sunday at a Stand Up to Cancer press event in Chicago.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides more information on cancer stem cells.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: The American Association for Cancer Research, news release, March 27, 2012.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Caring Teachers May Help Keep Kids From Trying Alcohol, Drugs
2. Unprecedented academic-industry collaboration seeks new drugs and novel treatments for autism
3. Closing hole in the heart no better than drugs in preventing strokes
4. Study finds intrauterine exposure to drugs does not affect academic achievement test scores
5. Solving mystery of how sulfa drugs kill bacteria yields 21st century drug development target
6. Efforts to Improve Research on Kids Drugs Paying Off: Report
7. FDA Moves to Head Off Shortages of 2 Cancer Drugs
8. Alzheimers drugs may have adverse side effects
9. Certain Cancer Drugs May Have Fatal Side Effects: Analysis
10. Drugs targeting chromosomal instability may fight a particular breast cancer subtype
11. Websites advertising cholesterol-lowering drugs of poor quality
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Drugs Previously Thought to Be Toxic May Stop Spread of Cancer
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute ... Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest ... world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ... will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. ... cap sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, ... a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, ... winners, announced today online at by ... 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic and ... the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PRINCETON, N.J. , June 23, 2016  Guerbet ... of Premier Inc.,s Supplier Horizon Award . ... this year, Guerbet was recognized for its support of ... value creation through clinical excellence, and commitment to lower ... delighted to receive this recognition of our outstanding customer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: