Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discoveries Point to More Powerful Cancer Treatments, Fewer Side Effects

28.02.2014

Rutgers research suggests chemo and radiation can kill more cancer cells and spare healthy ones

What if there were a way to make chemotherapy and radiation more effective as cancer treatments than they are today, while also getting rid of debilitating side effects that patients dread? A new study led by Alexey Ryazanov, a professor of pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, suggests the day that happens could be getting closer.

Side effects such as heart damage, nausea and hair loss occur when cancer therapy kills healthy cells along with the malignant cells that are being targeted. It is a medical form of collateral damage. But Ryazanov explains that if a way could be found to protect those healthy cells, then doses of chemo and radiation could actually be increased, “killing all the cancer cells and the patient would be cured. We also could start treating cancers that now can’t be cured because the most effective doses are too toxic to normal tissues.”

The key to Ryazanov’s vision of cancer treatment is addition by subtraction – specifically elimination of eEF2K – an enzyme that influences the rates at which proteins are created in the human body. Ryazanov first identified eEF2K more than a quarter century ago, and since then, bit by bit, he and other scientists have uncovered many complicated processes for which that enzyme is responsible.

Ryazanov’s latest findings, published in the journal Developmental Cell, demonstrate that the presence of eEF2K weakens healthy cells. His evidence is the enzyme’s involvement in a process where defective cells involved in reproduction are degraded – and ultimately destroyed – as a way to preserve genetic quality from one generation to the next.

There is eEF2K in every cell in the body, and Ryazanov says the enzyme’s presence tends to leave cells less robust than they otherwise would be. According to Ryazanov, it is that added weakness that leaves healthy cells vulnerable to being poisoned by chemo and radiation.

Ryazanov says removing the enzyme would make those healthy cells stronger, to the point where they would survive cancer therapy. That, in turn, would eliminate the side effects.

How would healthy cells survive cancer treatment while malignant cells would not? Ryazanov explains that tumors grow and cancer spreads when malignant cells divide and duplicate. Chemo and radiation are specifically designed to block cell division, and Ryazanov says removing the enzyme eEF2K actually makes the cancer cells more vulnerable to the treatment. By contrast, as long as healthy cells are strong enough to resist being poisoned, the cancer therapies won’t hurt them.

In 2008, Ryazanov founded Longevica Pharmaceuticals, a company whose mission is to perfect medications designed to eliminate the enzyme and improve the performance of chemo and radiation. Animal testing is already underway, and Ryazanov hopes that his new findings will speed the day when medications that pass those tests can be tried in people. He even predicts that taking such a drug may be as easy as swallowing a pill.

Ryazanov says there is a nice logic to the research and drug development that have become his life’s work – because the cancer therapies he wants to enhance already exist and are known to work. Making chemo and radiation less toxic, he says, can make those therapies dramatically more effective in the relatively near future, while other cutting-edge approaches to cancer treatment might need far more time to prove their ultimate worth.

Rob Forman | newswise
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu

Further reports about: Biomedical Cancer Powerful Rutgers damage eEF2K effects enzyme healthy malignant therapy

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>