Researchers have developed a promising metal-based compound that destroys kidney cancer cells, while leaving normal cells unharmed. The findings may provide a new way of treating kidney cancer, opening the potential for more potent and less toxic therapies that would give cancer patients a better quality of life.
The study, published in the journal Chemical Science, highlights the increased effectiveness and reduced toxicity of anti-cancer compounds containing the two metals, titanium and gold, called Compound 5 when used together. The research indicates that the improved anti-tumor activity may be due to the interaction of the different metals with multiple biological targets, or by the improved chemical and physical properties of the new compound.
"A gold based compound (called Auranofin) has been used to treat rheumatic diseases for years and has recently been used in clinical trials for the treatment of some cancers such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. However, that drug does not work well for kidney cancer. An important finding for us was that the incorporation of the titanium fragment into the similar gold based compound 5 increased the activity and specificity towards kidney cancer," the researchers said.
Unlike previous metallic compounds known to fight cancerous cells, this titanium-gold compound does not attack DNA, but rather causes cancer cell death by blocking a group of enzymes that supports cancer cell survival and metastasis.
Compound 5 shrank tumors and performed better in pre-clinical models than the FDA approved platinum drug, Cisplatin, showing excellent promise for further clinical development. Researchers emphasize the necessity of having further studies to find how the compound affects other cancers and improve its potential for clinical use.
Based on material originally posted by University of Chicago.