Navigation Links
HIV Drug Might Fight Cancer
Date:9/1/2007

Repositioning approved drugs could speed development of new therapies, researchers say

SATURDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A drug used as part of a regimen to treat HIV also appears to kill cancer cells, researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute report.

Based on this new finding, the HIV protease inhibitor nelfinavir is being used in a phase I clinical trial to determine what might be the safest and most effective dose for cancer patients. This strategy of finding new uses for existing drugs could have a major impact on treating cancer and other diseases, the researchers added.

"This could be a new approach to finding cancer drugs and cut the time for getting them approved," said lead researcher Dr. Phillip A. Dennis. "Repositioning drugs that are already FDA-approved could accelerate the development of new cancer therapies."

The researchers hit upon the idea of testing nelfinavir and other protease inhibitors as cancer drugs, because these drugs block Akt, a protein essential for the development of many types of cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer.

The report is published in the Sept. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

In experiments with mice, Dennis' team tested six protease inhibitors on non-small cell lung cancer and on 60 human cancer cell types from nine different kinds of malignant tissue.

At doses that are safe in HIV-infected patients, three of the drugs, nelfinavir, ritonavir and saquinavir, blocked growth of non-small cell lung cancer and every other cancer cell type tested, the researchers found.

However, nelfinavir was the most effective of all the drugs tested. It caused cancer cells to self-destruct or become stressed to the point of dying, Dennis said.

In addition, nelfinavir inhibited the growth of both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant breast cancer cells, indicating that it could be used to fight cancer cells that are resistant to common chemotherapy drugs. Nelfinavir may also be able to overcome resistance to radiation, the researchers reported.

Dennis noted that low doses of nelfinavir are used in treating HIV, and even at those low doses, the drug is effective against cancer. The current phase I trial will test higher doses to find the most effective dose with the fewest harmful side effects, he said.

In the trial, patients are already receiving higher doses with no apparent problem, Dennis said.

"If nelfinavir is proven effective in fighting cancer, it would, most likely, be used in combination with other cancer drugs," Dennis said.

One expert thinks this finding could be an important advance in cancer treatment.

"If it is proven that the toxicity levels are manageable in humans, it's going to be a great thing," said Charles Saxe, a scientific program director at the American Cancer Society. "Being able to get these drugs faster to patients by crossing over from one disease to another is going to be a big help."

Saxe noted that nelfinavir's ability to fight cancer in humans still needs to be proven. "But if they are right, and they can keep toxicity at reasonable levels, and they can show an effect at doses HIV patients can handle, that would be really exciting," he said.

In other cancer news, National Cancer Institute researchers report that they have found an extract of the skin of muscadine grapes (MSKE) can cause prostate cancer cells to die without affecting normal cells, according to a report in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

The lead researcher noted this extract does not contain significant amounts of resveratrol, another grape skin component that has been linked to preventing the growth of prostate cancer.

"These results show that MSKE may have potent anti-tumor activities in the lab that differ from the effects of resveratrol. Further studies of MSKE will be necessary to determine if this extract has potential as a chemopreventive or therapeutic agent," Dr. Jeffrey E. Green, chief of the Transgenic Oncogenesis and Genomics Section at the Center for Cancer Research, said in a statement.

And in other HIV news, a study in the August issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs, researchers found that one-fourth of HIV patients feel stigmatized by their doctors.

Most of the patients who felt that way were low-income minorities with poor access to care.

"Whether or not it is actual stigmatization is hard to measure, because it's coming from the patients that we interviewed," lead researcher Janni J. Kinsler, from the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a statement. "The point is that these people feel that way, and that's bad enough, because they're less likely to seek the care they need."

More information

For more on cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Phillip A. Dennis, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Charles Saxe, Ph.D., scientific program director, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Sept. 1, 2007, Clinical Cancer Research; Sept. 1, 2007, Cancer Research; August 2007, AIDS Patient Care and STDs


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. OBESE LIL GIRLS !! SWEAT IT OUT OR U MIGHT BE ASTHAMATIC !!!
2. Biochemical Markers Might Help Predict Heart Problems
3. Yoga Might Be Helpful For Cancer Patients
4. Suicide might be inherited
5. Cleanliness might lead to Asthma
6. Stroke risk might be linked to antibody
7. Change in walking might indicate Dementia
8. Drug might prevent Prostate Cancer Spread
9. Anemia Treatment for Cancer Patients Might Not be a Good Idea.
10. Diet might just have an Effect on Breast Cancer
11. Tomatoes Might Inhibit the Development Of Prostate Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort ... the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients ... seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. ... magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay ... be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference ...
(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 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology ... past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings 5th Annual ... Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The event raised funds ... been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is a 2016 Silver ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis ... new environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical ... for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing ... ensure they are providing products and services that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for ... of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, ... Center for Innovation, today announced the five finalists ... Hackathon for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: