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Diabetes Drug Dramatically Boosts Potency of Platinum Chemotherapy

erapy -- and proved capable of reducing growth of the cancer cells by 90 percent. Even when applied to colon cancer cells, a type of cancer not usually treated with platinum drugs, rosiglitazone and carboplatin lowered the growth rate by 70 percent. (Rosizitaglone did not show the same positive effect when paired with oxalyplatin.)

The drug combination also had striking growth-suppressing results when given to mice with human lung and ovarian tumors implanted under their skin and in mice that had received a chemical that causes them to develop colon cancer, explained Spiegelman, who is also a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School.

The experiments showed that the PPAR-gamma ligands suppressed the activity of metallothioneine genes, which are believed to trigger the development of cancer cells resistance to platinum chemotherapy.

"Our finding that PPAR-gamma activation dramatically increases the efficacy of carboplatin, potentially causing tumor stasis or even tumor shrinkage could represent a significant advance in chemotherapy," the researchers wrote.


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