Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies

Date:
February 8, 2011
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Low doses of losartan, an FDA-approved generic hypertension medication, may improve the results of nanotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment by modifying the network of abnormal collagen fibers that characterizes most solid tumors.

Low doses of an inexpensive, FDA-approved hypertension medication may improve the results of nanotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. In a report in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe experiments showing that the generic drug losartan, by modifying the network of collagen fibers that characterizes most solid tumors, improved the effectiveness of two nanotherapeutics against several types of cancer.

Related Articles


"By 'normalizing' the abnormal extracellular matrix of tumors, which keeps many therapies from reaching cancer cells, losartan improved both the delivery and efficacy of cancer nanotherapies," says Rakesh Jain, PhD, director of the Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at MGH and senior author of the study. "We also found that this effect occurs at much lower doses than those used to manage hypertension."

Jain's team focuses on understanding how the physical and physiologic properties of tumors -- including their erratic blood supply and network of disorganized, fibrous tissues -- inhibit the delivery of anticancer drugs and on developing strategies for getting around those barriers. His team investigated whether losartan might help nanotherapeutics penetrate tumors because, in addition to its antihypertension properties, the drug is known to reduce the formation of excess fibrous tissue that can accompany heart and kidney disease and to normalize connective tissue in the genetic disorder Marfan syndrome. Although the particles that deliver nanotherapies are extremely small, they are still much larger than the extracellular spaces within most solid tumors.

In a series of experiments, the MGH investigators confirmed that low doses of losartan could inhibit the formation of collagen by tumor-associated fibroblasts in culture and within tumors implanted in mice. Losartan also improved the distribution within tumors of fluorescent nanoparticles injected either intravenously or directly into the tumors. Experiments with two nanotherapeutics -- liposomes containing the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin and a virus designed to infect and destroy cancer cells -- showed that combining each treatment with losartan significantly reduced the size or delayed the growth of implanted tumors.

"We know that losartan is safe for clinical use with minimal side effects, and since it is a generic drug, it is very inexpensive," says Yves Boucher, PhD, associate biologist in the Steele Laboratory and co-senior author of the study. "Losartan's anti-hypertensive properties could mean that patients who have hypertension in addition to cancer may simply have their prescription switched. The hypertension that can result from certain anti-angiogenic therapies may also be managed by losartan, improving the effectiveness of both anticancer therapies " Based on these data, MGH Cancer Center oncologists are planning clinical trials to translate these findings from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside.

Jain is the Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) and Boucher is an associate professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. The lead author of the PNAS article is Benjamin Diop-Frimpong, PhD, of the Steele laboratory and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Additional co-authors are Vikash Chauhan, of the Steele lab and Harvard University; and Stephen Krane, MD, MGH Rheumatology. The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Diop-Frimpong, V. P. Chauhan, S. Krane, Y. Boucher, R. K. Jain. Losartan inhibits collagen I synthesis and improves the distribution and efficacy of nanotherapeutics in tumors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018892108

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202115059.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2011, February 8). Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202115059.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202115059.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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