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:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, ... friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, ... , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating ... disorders as a result of the $20,000 raised at the center’s recent ... Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals who otherwise might not seek treatment ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely ... resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and ... new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful ... Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest ... distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Todd S. ... offer laser services to many of his patients. Dr. Afferica now uses the BIOLASE ... reduce the amount of time the doctor uses other traditional cutting tools, such as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... the addition of the  "Global Drug ...  report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "Global Drug Device ... to their offering.  --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY ) ... Ron Squarer , will present at the Piper ... public is welcome to participate in the conference ... Jaffray Annual Healthcare ConferencePresenter:  , Ron Squarer, Chief ... Eastern Time Webcast: , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEWPORT NEWS, Va. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... that they have signed an agreement for DILON to ... select geographies across the globe. The signing of this distribution ... GE,s Discovery NM750b Molecular Breast Imaging system and is ... ways to provide better healthcare solutions for clinicians and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: