Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed

Date:
March 2, 2012
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
The American Cancer Society estimates that 44,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed this year and that 37,000 people will die from the disease. These are not strong odds. A new drug, rigosertib, allows pancreatic cancer cells to rush through replication -- and then stops them cold, killing them in in the middle of a step called M phase. Healthy cells that don't rush are unharmed.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 44,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed this year and that 37,000 people will die from the disease. These are not strong odds. A new drug, rigosertib, allows pancreatic cancer cells to rush through replication -- and then stops them cold, killing them in in the middle of a step called M phase. Healthy cells that don't rush are unharmed.

Data from a phase I clinical trial of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and additional solid tumors recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research shows the strategy has promise. While the goal of any phase I trial is to establish the dosage that best balances effectiveness against side effects, 11 of the 19 patients treated achieved stable disease, which lasted for a median of 113 days.

"Really, the drug takes one of cancer's greatest strengths and turns it into a weakness," says Wells Messersmith, MD, co-leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the clinical trial's national principal investigator.

Instead of going with the flow of the natural cell cycle, cancer cells amplify two signals -- PLK1 and PI3K -- which allows them to blast through the cell cycle and divide much more quickly. In the process, they break this step of the natural cell cycle, known as the G1 regulatory mechanism, and thus depend on the kick of PLK1 and P13K to push at a frenzied pace through replication.

It's specifically these two signals, PLK1 and PI3K, that rigosertib targets. With these signals turned off, cancer cells get stuck and die in the stage of the cell cycle called M phase -- while healthy cells that stuck to the slower, natural method of division chug past unharmed.

"This one-two punch, targeting these two distinct signaling pathways, allows us to interfere twice with cancer cells' ability to replicate," Messersmith says. And it also allows doctors to target cancers that may have evolved resistance to one or the other target.

The phase I trial established the safe dosage as 2-hour infusions on days 1, 4, 8, 11, 15 and 18 of 1800 mg/m2 when combined with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15, administered in 28-day cycles. Now the promising therapy has moved into a phase II/III trial in metastatic pancreas cancer to more precisely test its effectiveness (NCT01360853 on clinicaltrials.gov) .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. W. Ma, W. A. Messersmith, G. K. Dy, C. D. Weekes, A. Whitworth, C. Ren, M. Maniar, F. Wilhem, S. G. Eckhardt, A. A. Adjeii, A. Jimeno. Phase 1 study of rigosertib, an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and polo-like kinase 1 pathways, combined with gemcitabine in patients with solid tumors and pancreatic cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2813

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302101817.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2012, March 2). Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302101817.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120302101817.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. 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