Researchers have discovered two chemical compounds that effectively stop the growth of brain cancer cells and breast tumors, opening the way for potential new drugs to be developed.
In a study published in the journal Cancer Research, researchers examined compounds that inhibit Stat3, a protein implicated in a variety of cancers that include brain and breast cancers.
The two chemical compounds, a hydroxamic acid-based inhibitor (SH5-07), and a benzoic acid-based inhibitor (SH4-54), stopped the growth of brain and breast cancer cells by blocking a certain function of the Stat3 protein.
When the Stat3 protein, which regulates genes, goes haywire and no longer functions normally, it drives cells to continue growing and makes tumor cells multiply and spread. The two compounds stop the protein from promoting cancer cells to grow, thus stopping the tumors from growing.
The discovery is particularly encouraging for brain tumor patients, who do not currently have effective treatment options besides surgery. The targeted treatments are less toxic and will give cancer patients a better quality of life.
"Targeted therapies are based on understanding what is driving the cancer and how new drugs are designed to attack those cancer causing pathways," the researchers said. "We would like to advance these studies to turn the chemical compounds into new anti-cancer drugs to help patients potentially have better survival chances."
Based on material originally posted by University of Hawaii Cancer Center.