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New cancer drug screening technique more closely mirrors reality
Date:3/14/2010

earchers found a particular compound that was more active against myeloma tumor cells, both in laboratory cultures and mice, when the cells were in contact with healthy cells of the bone marrow their usual location in patients. The compound also prevented the myeloma cells from responding to growth signals produced by the bone marrow cells. With conventional techniques, candidate drugs such as this one would have gone completely unnoticed, Mitsiades observes.

He emphasizes that CS-BLI is not a technique for predicting which anti-cancer agents will be effective in individual patients, but can help researchers identify which agents are the best prospects for additional investigation.

"It will be of use in prioritizing candidate drugs for further rigorous study of their properties before embarking on clinical trials," he remarks. "This technique may show that the classical methods of studying candidate cancer drugs in laboratory conditions have overestimated the effectiveness of some agents, and underestimated others.

"The technique also provides a powerful tool for determining which biological mechanisms allow cancers to become resistant to certain treatments and which new therapies can neutralize those mechanisms. Hopefully, combining such new therapies with other, established or investigational, treatments may contribute to improved success rates of clinical trials."


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Contact: Teresa Herbert
teresa_herbert@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-4090
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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