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Large-scale identification and analysis of suppressive drug interactions
Date:4/24/2014

air in Integrative Biology.

For this first test, the team worked with anti-fungal chemicals in a total of 440 drug pairs. They found that, in almost one fifth of the combinations, one drug reduced the effectiveness of the other drug. They also found that some drugs can have a greater tendency to suppress other drugs, while other drugs are more frequently suppressed. The same team published a related study in 2011, showing that for about one third of drug pairs tested the compounds increased each other's effectiveness. "If drug interactions are happening at anything approaching these rates in humans, we should be very concerned," Dr. Roth adds.

When one drug suppresses the effectiveness of another drug, "the patient is losing benefit from one or both drugs, while still potentially being exposed to their side effects," Dr. Roth adds. When a drug combination has an effect that is more than the sum of its parts, the patient might get too much of a good thing, and it is possible for drugs to intensify each other's toxicity as well.

"This methodology may also prove useful to explore positive types of drug interactions such as in personalized medicine," adds Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum. "Diseases such as cancer rarely respond to single medications, and this new systematic technological approach may have the potential to allow rapid optimization of combination therapies," he notes. The study noted one example of a compound (Staurosporine) that was suppressed by acidity. This phenomenon is interesting in the context of cancer because the peculiar metabolism of cancer cells often makes the local tumour environment more acidic. It would be particularly exciting to find more anti-cancer compounds that were enhanced by acidity.


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Contact: Polly Thompson
pthompson@lunenfeld.ca
416-586-4800 x2046
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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