Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Learn Certain Enzyme Inhibitors May Help In Cancer Therapy Following Initial Procedures

Date:
September 19, 2003
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Certain enzyme inhibitors may slow tumor formation within weeks and could lead to treatments that retard or prevent recurrences of cancers, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.

DALLAS – Sept. 15, 2003 – Certain enzyme inhibitors may slow tumor formation within weeks and could lead to treatments that retard or prevent recurrences of cancers, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.

Their findings appear in the current issue of the journal Cancer Research.

The researchers sought to inhibit telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomeres – repeating sequences of DNA at the end of each chromosome that are believed to function as a counting mechanism for cellular aging. Telomerase prevents the shortening of the sequences of DNA that occurs in normal cells as they age. The enzyme is found in most types of tumor cells but not healthy cells, indicating telomerase inhibitors may be a powerful new approach to chemotherapy.

Telomerase inhibition, however, has posed challenges for therapy. In earlier studies, scientists have found that months of treatment with an inhibitor are required before tumor growth could be expected to significantly slow.

The UT Southwestern researchers treated cultured human tumor cells with a unique compound that blocks telomerase activity, and the cell proliferation slowed substantially after just a few weeks.

Further, prostate cancer cells treated with the inhibitor barely formed tumors in mice and yielded very low levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a marker associated with malignancy. Cells treated with a similar compound that was not a telomerase inhibitor formed large tumors with high PSA levels.

"Telomerase is widely appreciated as a promising target for therapy," said Dr. David Corey, professor of pharmacology and biochemistry and the study's senior author. "Our results suggest that if you can inhibit telomerase in tumor cells and shorten telomeres, you will slow the growth of tumors."

The researchers also discovered that when the telomerase inhibitor is combined with standard cancer therapeutic agents carboplatin and cisplatin, there are additional antiproliferative effects. Dr. Corey said these results suggest a relatively small amount of telomere shortening is sufficient to slow tumor growth, and telomerase inhibitors are a useful therapeutic option, especially in combination with agents already being used to treat patients.

"No one is suggesting telomerase inhibitors alone would cure cancer, but in conjunction with standard therapy, they might help to slow or prevent the recurrence of tumors after the initial cancer has been removed through surgery, radiation or chemotherapy," Dr. Corey said. "Since most patients die from the recurrence of cancer, effective telomerase inhibitors could have a large impact on the treatment of many different types of cancer."

A similar telomerase inhibitor currently is in advanced preclinical trials with the Geron Corp. These new findings are likely to influence how clinical trials are designed and interpreted and to provide more support for pushing them forward, Dr. Corey said.

Dr. Zhi Chen, pharmacology postdoctoral researcher, and Dr. Kenneth Koeneman, assistant professor of urology, also contributed to the study. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Researchers Learn Certain Enzyme Inhibitors May Help In Cancer Therapy Following Initial Procedures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093827.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (2003, September 19). Researchers Learn Certain Enzyme Inhibitors May Help In Cancer Therapy Following Initial Procedures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093827.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Researchers Learn Certain Enzyme Inhibitors May Help In Cancer Therapy Following Initial Procedures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918093827.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins