Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research shows early promise of new drug for cancers caused by viruses

Date:
January 14, 2014
Source:
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
A newly published paper is the first to report that specialized fat (lipid) molecules, called sphingolipids, play a key role in the survival of aggressive lymphomas caused by viruses. The paper also reveals a new therapy for preventing production of sphingolipids by lymphoma cells, thereby killing these cells, which are often resistant to standard therapies.

Christopher Parsons, MD, Director of the HIV Malignancies Program at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, is the senior author of a paper that is the first to report that specialized fat (lipid) molecules, called sphingolipids, play a key role in the survival of aggressive lymphomas caused by viruses. The paper also reveals a new therapy for preventing production of sphingolipids by lymphoma cells, thereby killing these cells, which are often resistant to standard therapies. The study is published in the January 2014 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Related Articles


The research team focuses on primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), an aggressive and deadly variant of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that frequently occurs in people infected with HIV. Though scientists have known that the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) causes PEL, development of effective therapies has proven difficult. PEL tumors arise within body cavities and progress rapidly with an average survival of around 6 months. Combination chemotherapy represents the current standard of care for PEL, but side effects (including bone marrow suppression) and drug resistance (generated through virus-associated mechanisms) continue to limit the effectiveness of standard therapy.

After documenting the role of an enzyme called sphingosine kinase (SK), in the generation of biologically active sphingolipids in PEL tumors that keep the tumor cells alive, the researchers tested a novel clinical-grade small molecule that selectively targets SK. The molecule, called ABC294640, was developed by Apogee Biotechnology Corporation. Previous studies found antitumor effects for ABC294640 with kidney, prostate, and breast cancer cell lines. In the current study, ABC294640 not only inhibited SK function and induced PEL cell death, it worked selectively for virus-infected cells while sparing uninfected cells.

"It is still early in our understanding of how these special lipids contribute to viral cancers, but this is a major potential advance. There are no therapies available to fight viral tumors by selectively blocking these pathways, all while not harming normal, uninfected cells," notes Dr. Parsons, who is also a member of the LSUHSC Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center.

Dr. Parsons' research group partnered with Apogee several years ago to develop and test new small molecules targeting lipid synthesis pathways, especially those in viral lymphomas, which have high rates of relapse or failure with standard therapies and higher mortality than non-viral lymphomas.

"Our research thus far indicates that this molecule is safe, with the potential to stand alone as a single, orally administered drug with no need to combine it with other toxic drugs now routinely used but which fail to work for many patients," concludes Dr. Parsons.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Z. Qin, L. Dai, J. Trillo-Tinoco, C. Senkal, W. Wang, T. Reske, K. Bonstaff, L. Del Valle, P. Rodriguez, E. Flemington, C. Voelkel-Johnson, C. D. Smith, B. Ogretmen, C. Parsons. Targeting Sphingosine Kinase Induces Apoptosis and Tumor Regression for KSHV-Associated Primary Effusion Lymphoma. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2013; DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0466

Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "Research shows early promise of new drug for cancers caused by viruses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114114255.htm>.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. (2014, January 14). Research shows early promise of new drug for cancers caused by viruses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114114255.htm
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "Research shows early promise of new drug for cancers caused by viruses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140114114255.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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