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 New Model of T Cell Activation
27.05.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Fungi – a promising source of chemical diversity
27.05.2016 | Leibniz-Institut für Naturstoff-Forschung und Infektionsbiologie - Hans-Knöll-Institut (HKI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Worldwide Success of Tyrolean Wastewater Treatment Technology

A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.

The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...

Im Focus: Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.

The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...

Im Focus: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

International expert meeting “Health Business Connect” in France

19.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

11 million Euros for research into magnetic field sensors for medical diagnostics

27.05.2016 | Awards Funding

Fungi – a promising source of chemical diversity

27.05.2016 | Life Sciences

New Model of T Cell Activation

27.05.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>