A team of researchers discovered a drug compound that can stop cancer cells from spreading.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers has found a new drug compound that can reportedly inhibit the movement and spread of cancer cells. The compound, known as KBU2046, can stop cell motility in four different human cell models of solid cancer type: prostate, colon, breast, and lung cancer.
“We used chemistry to probe biology to give us a perfect drug that would only inhibit the movement of cancer cells and wouldn’t do anything else. That basic change in logic leads us to do everything we did,” Raymond Bergan, M.D., Division Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology and professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, said.
According to Bergan, most cancer treatment therapies today are designed to kill cells. In fact, none has been developed to stop cancer cells from moving and spreading around the body.
The design and creation of new molecules were spearheaded by Karl Scheidt, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University. Bergan’s team then evaluated his work due to its ability to stop cell motility.
“We’ve taken a clue provided by nature and through the power of chemistry created an entirely new way to potentially control the spread of cancer,” Scheidt said. “It’s been a truly rewarding experience working together as a team toward ultimately helping cancer patients.”
Bergan and his team refined the drug compound, ensuring that the chemical could perform its job of stopping cancer cell movements without any side effects. According to the researchers, the key to the drug was engaging the shock proteins known as cleaners. The drug works by binding the so-called cleaner proteins to stop the cell movement.
The team of researchers, whose study was published in the journal Nature Communications, hope their research can pave the way in developing new cancer treatments.
“The eventual promise of this research is that we’re working toward developing a therapeutic that can help manage early-stage disease, preventing patients from getting the more incurable later-stage disease,” Ryan Gordon, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the OHSU School of Medicine, was quoted as saying.