Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Discovery of compound could enhance cancer treatments with fewer side effects


The discovery of a new compound by Michigan State University researchers could lead to improved chemotherapy treatments for different types of cancers – potentially with fewer side effects.

The discovery of the compound – known as SP-4-84 – was made by an MSU team led by Jetze Tepe, an assistant professor of chemistry, and is detailed in the December issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology. The researchers believe that the compound, when used in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin and camptothecin, can make the anti-cancer drugs much more effective. “This may potentially mean that one could use less than one-tenth of the current drug dosage and still get the same therapeutic results – but fewer side effects – or use the same drug dosage which is now much more effective in its treatment,” Tepe said.

Even though this new compound is in the earliest stage of development, this is potentially good news for the millions of Americans diagnosed with cancer every year. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than a half-million Americans die of cancer every year, second only to heart disease. Here is how the newly discovered compound works: Most anti-cancer drugs work by causing cell damage, such as DNA damage, which ultimately kills the cancer cells. However, cancer cells are also prone to repair themselves and survive the damage done by drugs, which renders the drugs less effective.

Tepe and his colleagues found that when SP-4-84 was added to certain anti-cancer drugs, it inhibited the cancer cell’s ability to survive chemotherapeutic treatment. “Essentially,” he said, “it sensitizes only cancer cells to chemotherapeutics by blocking the cancer cell’s ability to survive the damage that was caused by the chemotherapeutic drugs.”

Another problem with chemotherapy drugs is that they generally don’t discriminate between cancer cells and healthy cells. The drugs basically damage all cells that are continuing to replicate. “So, if we’re able to give the patient a drug that remains as effective despite a smaller dose, this could spare the patient a lot of side effects such as severe nausea, kidney or liver damage, and other side effects typically experienced during chemotherapy,” Tepe said.

“Tests preformed with cancer cells in culture found that over a 48-hour period small amounts of SP-4-84 made camptothecin 75 times more effective that conventional treatment,” he said. “However, when we used the compound on non-cancerous cells, there was absolutely no effect. It appears right now that the compound is only selective for cancer cells.” Thus far, SP-4-84 appears to be extremely non-toxic, he said.

In their current work, Tepe and his co-workers have teamed up with MSU’s Carcinogenesis Laboratory, where the teams are evaluating the new compound in mice. "As with all new discoveries, much more work needs to be done to evaluate the potential of this compound for its ability to improve conventional therapeutic treatment,” Tepe said.

Other members of Tepe’s team include graduate students Vasudha Sharma and Satyamaheshwar Peddibhotla, and research associate Theresa Lansdell.

Tom Oswald | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>