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 September 19, 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 September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
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