Recent research results in the field of cancer treatment
Posted: Oct 17, 2018
In recent years, scientists have made many new advances in the search for new therapies to treat cancer through in-depth research. What are the important achievements that scientists have made in the field of cancer treatment?
1. New tumor targeting antibody-conjugated drugs for the effective treatment of colon and ovarian cancer
Located at the Radboud University Medical Center, Tagworks Pharmaceuticals has developed a new technology that targets tumor delivery chemotherapy drugs in extreme cases. By controlling the "click release" of a chemotherapeutic drug from its binding to a tumor carrier, the researcher can activate the release drug at the correct location for treatment. The company published their latest research on mice in Nature Communications.
Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) are relatively new anticancer drugs. It consists of an antibody-bonded tumor killing chemotherapeutic drug that targets and recognizes and binds to cellular receptors. The antibodies on the ADC are mainly used to bind tumor cell-specific extracellular receptors. The drug is released after the receptor delivers the entire structure into the cell, and then the chemotherapeutic drug acts in the cell.
ADC drugs are now used to treat lymphoma and metastatic breast cancer. These ADCs work very well, but for many other tumors, including colorectal and ovarian cancer, these methods are not applicable. The problem is that there are not many tumor-specific receptors that can automatically capture drugs into cells, and if ADCs are left outside the cell, then the drug will not be released.
2. Scientists develop new drugs that can effectively treat lung cancer and pancreatic cancer
Recently, in a research published in the international journal Nature Medicine, scientists from the Technical University of Munich have developed a new type of anticancer drug that can effectively resist many types of cancer. The researchers use samples from cancer patients and mouse models and the results show that this new inhibitor drug called SHP2 is effective in the treatment of malignant cancers that are difficult to treat, such as lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. Currently clinical trials are conducted in patients other than cancer patients.
Lung cancer and pancreatic cancer are collectively referred to as KRAS tumors, which share the same genetic error. This error means that the KRAS protein involved in cell division no longer functions normally, and it remains active, so the cells keep dividing. Loss of control will lead to the occurrence of KRAS tumor, which accounts for one-third of all human tumors.
Researchers want to find a replaceable attack point through research. Previously researchers have found that KRAS mutations exert some serious effects, which makes it impossible for researchers to use other methods for the treatment. In this study, it has been found that the regulatory protein SHP2 may be a suitable drug target, even in KRAS tumors, and the recently developed SHP2 inhibitors are also effective in treating these tumors.
3. Combination therapy of two anti-cancer immunotherapeutics is not necessarily better than one
A class of tumor immunotherapy drugs called immunological checkpoint inhibitors have shown strong anti-cancer capabilities in some patients. But the researchers' attempts to combine the use of these drugs with other immunotherapeutics have been depressing. A recent article published in Chemical & Engineering News describes multiple challenges related to strengthening the immune system against cancer.
In 2014, the US FDA approved two PD-1 inhibitors – a class of checkpoint inhibitors that can significantly reduce certain tumors. The researchers wondered if the combination of these drugs (Merck's Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo) with another immunotherapeutic called IDO1 inhibitor could work in more patients. A series of clinical trials were therefore initiated to validate this conjecture. But after the failure of a major clinical trial of Keytruda and Incyte's IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat in combination with cancer treatment, some people began to question the clinical trials of the combined immunotherapy.
4. New diabetes drugs can promote cancer cells to become more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs
Recently, in a research report published in the international magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States found that an experimental Diabetes drugs may promote cancer cells to become more sensitive to traditional chemotherapy drugs, so combining this diabetes drug with chemotherapy drugs may hope to potentially improve the prognosis of cancer patients.
In the article, the researchers studied cancer cell lines and animal models and found that a compound similar to the common antidiabetic drug Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) can promote lung tumor cells to become sensitive to carboplatin chemotherapy. After studying rodents, the researchers found that carboplatin, in combination with the experimental drug SR1664, was effective in treating rodents compared to carboplatin alone. In addition, researchers have found in the laboratory that this combination therapy can promote triple-negative breast cancer cell sensitization and self-destruction, but not all types of cancer cells become sensitive to this combination therapy.
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