Navigation Links
First compound that specifically kills cancer stem cells found
Date:8/13/2009

The cancer stem cells that drive tumor growth and resist chemotherapies and radiation treatments that kill other cancer cells aren't invincible after all. Researchers reporting online on August 13th in the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, have discovered the first compound that targets those cancer stem cells directly.

"It wasn't clear it would be possible to find compounds that selectively kill cancer stem cells," said Piyush Gupta of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Broad Institute. "We've shown it can be done."

The team including MIT's Robert Weinberg and the Broad Institute's Eric Lander developed a new high-throughput screening method that makes it possible for the first time to systematically look for agents that kill cancer stem cells. That ability had previously eluded researchers due to the rarity of those cells within tumor cell populations and their relative instability in laboratory culture.

In the new study, the researchers manipulated cultured breast cancer cells to greatly enrich for those with the stem-like properties, including increased resistance to standard cancer drugs. They then screened a library of 16,000 natural and commercial chemical compounds for their ability to kill those stem-like cells and not other cancer cells. That screen turned up 32 contenders.

The researchers narrowed that list down to a handful of chemicals that they could readily get in sufficient quantities for further testing on normal cancer stem cells. Of those, one called salinomycin was the clear winner.

Salinomycin reduced the proportion of breast cancer stem cells by more than 100-fold compared to a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug for breast cancer called paclitaxel (aka Taxol). Salinomycin-treated cells were less able than paclitaxel-treated ones to seed tumors when injected into mice, they report. Salinomycin treatment also slowed the growth of the animals' tumors.

Studies of salinomycin-treated human breast tumors also showed a loss in the activity of genes associated with cancer stem cells.

Exactly how salinomycin's works against cancer stem cells, the researchers don't yet know. As its name suggests, the chemical has antibiotic properties that likely aren't relevant to its newfound cancer stem cell-killing ability. It also disturbs cells' potassium balance.

It remains unclear whether salinomycin itself might find its way to the clinic, Gupta said, since many pharmaceutical steps are involved in the drug discovery process. Nevertheless, the chemical does serve as an immediate tool for manipulating cancer stem cell numbers and observing the effects on cancer's spread and progression.

The findings also highlight a new avenue for the development of cancer therapies, the researchers say.

" To date, rational cancer therapies have been designed to target specific genetic alterations present within tumors," they wrote. "The findings here indicate that a second approach may also prove usefulnamely, searching for agents that target specific states of cancer cell differentiation. Accordingly, future therapies could offer greater possibilities for individualized treatment by considering both the genetic alterations and differentiation states present within the cancer cells of a tumor at the time of diagnosis."

They envision a future in which combination therapies might couple more traditional cancer drugs with those designed to hit the cancer stem cells that would otherwise get left behind.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
2. FDA Approves First Anti-Psychotic for Kids
3. Single-incision belly-button surgery to remove kidney performed first at UT Southwestern
4. First study examines newly-licensed RN work attitudes and intentions
5. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
6. UHW Announces: Antelope Valley Hospital Caregivers and Board Vote to Ratify First Union Contract With SEIU UHW-West
7. Father and Daughter From Tanzania Receive Their First Medical Examination in Newport Beach
8. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
9. APA Comments on FDAs First Approval of Medication to Treat Pediatric Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
10. TriWest Creates First-of-its-Kind Partnership to Offer Military Leaders With Grief Support Program
11. Watson Receives First FDA Approval for Manufacturing Product at Its Goa, India Facility
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... Coppin Insurance Agency, an insurance and financial planning firm ... Cape Coral area, is embarking on a charity drive with the goal of providing ... Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida works to provide fresh and nutritious food ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... DrugDev again demonstrated its dedication ... one of the early adopters completing EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Certification from the U.S. Department ... on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with EU data ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... drug in their bodies, a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at ... , The study found that when young children are exposed to secondhand marijuana ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... EnghouseSystems ... purchase price of approximately $17.4 million (net of the cash acquired), subject ... $13.2 million. Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Presence is a leading provider of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A quote from Dr. Edward Hallowell, host of CRN International’s ... offer a rare glimpse into the mind of those people with ADHD. , Dr. ... author, has described people with ADHD as having “Ferrari engines for a brain, with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016  Northwest Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: ... "Company"), a biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune ... the Nasdaq Staff has not accepted the Company,s ... Rules previously reported, and the Company has notified ... Company,s common stock from listing on Nasdaq.  Upon ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... --  Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ... the ralinepag phase 2 trial.  Ralinepag is an oral, ... the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The study ... "This marks an important step in the development of ... our pipeline," said Amit Munshi , Arena,s President ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Kan. , Dec. 7, 2016   Rx Savings ... West Virginia and its Public Employees Insurance Agency ... members access to their innovative healthcare software, ultimately saving money ... with PEIA and provide its members with access to our ... or a more effective, affordable therapy can be found," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: