New drug-like compounds have low toxicity to noncancerous cells, but inhibit the human protein often responsible for chemotherapy failure
Researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, have discovered three new drug-like compounds that could ultimately offer better odds of survival to prostate cancer patients.
The drug-like compounds can be modified and developed into medicines that target a protein in the human body that is responsible for chemotherapy resistance in cancers, said biochemist Pia D. Vogel, lead author on the scientific paper reporting the discovery.
So far there’s no approved drug on the market that reverses cancer chemotherapy resistance caused by P-glycoprotein, or P-gp for short, said Vogel, a biochemistry professor at SMU. One potential drug, Tariquidar, is currently in clinical trials, but in the past, other potential drugs have failed at that stage.
“The problem when a person has cancer, is that the treatment itself is composed of cellular toxins — the chemotherapeutics that prevent the cells from dividing. Usually upon the first chemotherapy treatment the cancer responds well, and initially goes away. Ideally it doesn’t come back,” said Vogel, director of SMU’s Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery. READ MORE