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Mayo Clinic: Drug duo turns on cancer-fighting gene in kidney, breast cancers
Date:7/31/2012

tored by romidepsin, which is a histone deacetylase inhibitor, and decitabine, a methyltranferase inhibitor. Both are epigenetic drugs, modifying genes in a way that affects whether they are turned on or off.

"Individually, each drug did not induce any form of cell death but, together, they killed all of the different cell lines of kidney and triple negative breast cancer that we tested in the laboratory," says lead investigator Simon Cooper, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic molecular biologist who specializes in renal cancer.

The two cancers affect up to 80,000 Americans each year and therapies to treat both, especially when they are advanced, have been very limited, says co-author Edith Perez, M.D., deputy director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

"But now, not only do we have a very promising lead on future therapy, but if this combination treatment works as we hope it does, we will have a biomarker to be able to test which patients might benefit the most," she says. "In other words, a biopsy test could identify patients whose tumors had lost sFRP1 function."

The approach to finding this potential new treatment strategy is novel, adds oncologist Michael Menefee, M.D., who is also a study co-author.

"This type of interdisciplinary preclinical research effort is important, not only because of the value of the science, but also because the drugs are already in the clinic and that will facilitate translational efforts and hopefully confirm the preclinical findings in patients with advanced malignancies," he said.


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Contact: Paul Scotti
scotti.paul@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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