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New pyrimidine compounds may lead to improved treatments for childhood brain cancer
Date:4/6/2010

April 6, 2010 (Philadelphia, PA) -- Src (short for sarcoma) is a family of proto-oncogenic tyrosine kinases active in many cancer tumors, including medulloblastoma, the most common malignant cancer in children. Src represents one of the most promising targets for cancer therapy.

A recent study shows that pyrazolo-[3,4-d]pyrimidine-derivatives, designed to target Src, may be effective in interfering with the cell cycle and causing cancer cell death in medulloblastoma. The results were published in FASEB (The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) and were funded by the Sbarro Health Research Organization Center for Biotechnology (www.shro.org), a nonprofit group devoted to molecular and genetic research located at the College of Science and Technology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and the Human Health Foundation (www.hhfonlus.org), a nonprofit biotechnology research organization located in Terni, Italy.

"Our aim was to investigate the inhibitory effects of new pyrimidine-derivatives," said lead author Antonio Giordano, M.D. PhD, the Founder and Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine and a 'Chiara fama' Professor at the Department of Human Pathology and Oncology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy. "Our findings show that, in medulloblastoma cells, pyrimidine derivatives can downregulate Src activity and reduce cell proliferation and tumor progression in vivo. This suggests that pyrimidine derivatives could be an effective therapeutic strategy not only for the treatment of medulloblastomas, but also for other Src expressing tumors."

Although better treatment regimens, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have substantially improved survival, medulloblastoma remains incurable in about one third of patients and current treatments can cause toxic neurocognitive side effects.

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Contact: Ilene Rush
irush@shro.org
215-470-2998
Sbarro Health Research Organization
Source:Eurekalert

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