NEW YORK (June 21, 2012) Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have devised an innovative boxer-like strategy, based on the serial use of two anti-cancer drugs, to deliver a one-two punch to first weaken the defenses of multiple myeloma and then deliver the final knock-out punch to win the fight.
The study, published online by the journal Blood, is the first to show that precise timing of therapies that target a cancer cell's cycle the life phases leading to its division and replication disables key survival genes, resulting in cell death. The drug that delivers the weakening jab at the cell cycle is the experimental agent PD 0332991, which allows bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor already approved for use in myeloma and lymphoma, to land the final defeating blow at lower than normal doses.
While this is potentially good news for patients with multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood plasma cells that is currently incurable, the study suggests that using this therapeutic strategy could also work for other tumor types, says the study's senior investigator, Dr. Selina Chen-Kiang, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
"Because robust functioning of the cell cycle is crucial to cancer growth and survival, this mechanism-based strategy could theoretically be used against many kinds of cancers," she says.
"Based on the genetics of a patient's tumor, we could pair PD 0332991 with the right cytotoxic partner drug to both inhibit cancer cell division and sensitize the cells for that knock-out punch," says Dr. Chen-Kiang. "We are very excited about the promise of this approach."
In fact, physicians at Weill Cornell have opened two new human clinical trials, one in multiple myeloma and one in mantle cell lymphoma, based on the findings of this study in a mouse model as well as on a previous phase I clinical trial led by Weill Cornell invest
|Contact: Lauren Woods|
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College