Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug duo kills chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cells, researchers find

Date:
December 7, 2011
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
The use of two drugs never tried in combination before in ovarian cancer resulted in a 70 percent destruction of cancer cells already resistant to commonly used chemotherapy agents, say researchers.

The use of two drugs never tried in combination before in ovarian cancer resulted in a 70 percent destruction of cancer cells already resistant to commonly used chemotherapy agents, say researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Their report, published online in Gynecologic Oncology, suggests that this combination (ixabepilone and sunitinib), might offer a much needed treatment option for women with advanced ovarian cancer. When caught at late stages, ovarian cancer is often fatal because it progressively stops responding to the chemotherapy drugs used to treat it.

"Women die from ovarian cancer because their tumors become resistant to chemotherapy, so a drug that might be able to reduce that resistance -- which may be what this combination of agents is doing -- would be a boon to treatment of this difficult cancer," says study co-author Gerardo Colon-Otero, M.D., a hematologist-oncologist who cares for ovarian cancer patients.

The finding also highlights the importance of the role of a molecule, RhoB, that the researchers say is activated by the drug duo. The study's senior investigator, cancer biologist John Copland, Ph.D., has identified RhoB as a key modulator for drug response in other tumor types, but says its role in ovarian cancer was unknown before this study.

"Now we find that with this combination of drugs, RhoB is increased and cells die," he says.

The study was possible because Dr. Copland and his laboratory colleagues, including co-author Laura Marlow, created and characterized two new ovarian laboratory cell lines. They were derived from tumor tissue specimens taken from a patient with metastatic cancer whose tumors had stopped responding to multiple chemotherapy drugs.

Dr. Colon-Otero suggested trying the two drugs on the new cells lines. Neither drug is approved for use in ovarian cancer. Ixabepilone is a chemotherapy drug that, like other taxane drugs, targets the microtubules and stops dividing cells from forming a spindle. It has been approved for use in metastatic breast cancer. Sunitinib, approved for use in kidney cancer, belongs to a class of tyrosine kinase inhibitors that stops growth signals from reaching inside cancer cells.

Prakash Vishnu, M.D., a former fellow at Mayo Clinic in Florida who is now at the Floyd and Delores Jones Cancer Institute in Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, is the first author of the article and led the study under the mentorship of Drs. Colon-Otero and Copland. He found that in both cell lines, cell kill was significantly greater with the combination than use of either drug alone. For example, in chemotherapy-resistant lines (where this potential combination therapy will most likely be used), ixabepilone alone killed up to 30 percent of cells, and the rate for suntinib was up to 10 percent. When the agents were used together, the kill rate was 70 percent.

Dr. Copland said that RhoB is a potential biomarker that may help identify patients who might benefit from such combination therapy.

The study was funded by Mayo Clinic. Additional co-authors included Joseph Santoso, M.D., of the University of Tennessee and Kevin Wu, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, as well as undergraduate students Gregory Kennedy and William Kennedy from Dr. Copland's laboratory. The researchers declare no conflicts of interest.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Prakash Vishnu, Gerardo Colon-Otero, Gregory T. Kennedy, Laura A. Marlow, William P. Kennedy, Kevin J. Wu, Joseph T. Santoso, John A. Copland. RhoB mediates antitumor synergy of combined ixabepilone and sunitinib in human ovarian serous cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.11.019

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Drug duo kills chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cells, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207133057.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2011, December 7). Drug duo kills chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cells, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207133057.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Drug duo kills chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cells, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207133057.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. 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