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New strategy likely to speed drug development for rare cancers
Date:9/15/2011

D ependymoma cells, four demonstrated a two-fold greater ability to block the growth of the tumor cells, but not normal cells. The drugs included 5-FU and two closely related compounds. The fourth was beta-escin, which belongs to a family of drugs that are generating interest as potential chemotherapy agents.

5-FU also proved more effective than four other chemotherapy drugs in slowing tumor growth and extending the lives of mice with subtype D ependymoma. 5-FU also appeared less toxic to normal mouse brain cells than another drug, bortezomib, included in the study. The findings provided preliminary evidence that the screening system might provide an early indication of drug toxicity. The information could help guide treatment and prioritize drugs for development, researchers said.

The screening also highlighted a possible role for kinase inhibitors. Those are drugs that block activity of proteins that help drive cell division and sustain tumors. More than 18 inhibitors are in clinical trials that target the kinases this study tied to proliferation of both normal and ependymoma tumor cells.


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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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