Researchers at Rutgers’ Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy have shown that administering a combination of the widely used drugs Celebrex (celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and Lipitor (atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug) stops the transition of early prostate cancer to its more aggressive and potentially fatal stage.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, with more than a quarter-million new cases appearing each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The findings are being presented by Rutgers Professor Xi Zheng at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego, April 14th.
In the early stage of the disease, when it is typically diagnosed, prostate cancer cells depend on androgen hormones, such as testosterone, to grow. Treatment at this stage involves either decreasing the production of the hormone or blocking its actions on the cancer cells.
“Anti-androgen therapy slows the prostate cancer but eventually the cancer becomes androgen-independent, the therapy becomes ineffective and the cancer cells become more aggressive,” said Xi Zheng, assistant research professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who conducted the study.
“Treatments available for the later stage cancers are not very good,” said Allan Conney, director of Rutgers’ Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research, another researcher on the project. “Oncologists employ classical chemotherapy drugs which are very toxic and don’t work all that well.”
Zheng and Conney’s research objective was to find a way to indefinitely delay the transition to androgen-independence, prolonging the time during which the cancer would be responsive to effective, low-toxicity, anti-hormone therapy.
Zheng explained that their experiments were first conducted on cell cultures in the laboratory, where the researchers tested the effects of the drugs on the growth of prostate cancer cells from four different cell lines. They then moved on to test the drugs on specially bred mice in which prostate cancer tumors were introduced under the skin. Celebrex alone, Lipitor alone, and the two in combination were tested at the lab bench and on the mice.
“A combination of low doses of Lipitor and Celebrex had a more potent inhibiting effect on the formation of later stage tumors than a higher dose of either agent alone,” Zheng reported. “The results from our study indicate that a combination of Lipitor and Celebrex may be an effective strategy for the prevention of prostate cancer progression from the first to the second stage.”
Zheng also noted that the team is exploring the underlying molecular mechanisms to understand how Lipitor and Celebrex work on prostate cancer, perhaps identifying an important signaling pathway for tumor cell growth that the drugs inhibit.
Conney pointed out that previous experiments reported in the Sept. 15, 2007, issue of Clinical Cancer Research had demonstrated that the Lipitor-Celebrex combination also inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in the later androgen-independent stage.
“So if you can affect the early stage and prevent it from becoming the more severe form, that’s a good thing. If you can also inhibit the growth of the more severe form, that’s also a good thing,” Conney said.
Human clinical trials are being planned at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick.
“If the clinical trials go well, we could have something available in five years, but it would be nice to speed that up,” Conney said. “If the trials show that the drug therapy does a good job of preventing the cancer from advancing, we won’t need to worry about how to handle the more aggressive later stage cancer.
“This is something we hope is going to save lives,” he added.
Joseph Blumberg | EurekAlert!
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences