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New method to overcome multiple drug resistant diseases developed by Stanford researchers
Date:8/18/2008

rate and then waiting as the effective amount in the patients slowly dwindled until they could safely inject more. This approach results in a repeated pattern of rapid spikes in the amount of medication in the system, followed by slow declines until the next spike. Ideally, doctors would like the patient to be continually experiencing the maximum tolerable dosage to keep the pressure on the cancer cells, killing them off as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. The arginine transporter makes this possible.

Ovarian cancer was chosen as the subject cancer for this study in part because it commonly develops resistance to Taxol, but also because of a low long-term success rate in treating it. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States alone there will be 21,650 diagnoses of ovarian cancer this year and 15,500 deaths from it.

"Ovarian cancer has a drug [Taxol] that works pretty well in the beginning. Seventy or eighty percent of the patients have a response," Teng said. "But it fails at the end because drug resistance develops."

Further studies need to be done to demonstrate the safety of arginine transporters before they can be used in this application in humans, Wender and Teng said. But the researchers already have positive safety data from tests of arginine-transporter technology in another application, one that does not involve drug resistance, so they are optimistic. The discovery of effective arginine transporters could be the key to treating ovarian cancer, as well as other diseases that develop drug resistance, more effectively.


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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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