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.
Tom Oswald | EurekAlert!
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