New platinum-phosphate compounds kill ovarian cancer cells

November 19, 2008,

A new class of compounds called phosphaplatins can effectively kill ovarian, testicular, head and neck cancer cells with potentially less toxicity than conventional drugs, according to a new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The compounds could be less harmful than current cancer treatments on the market such as cisplatin and carboplatin because they don't penetrate the cell nucleus and attach to DNA, said lead author Rathindra Bose. Conventional drugs can interfere with the functions of the cell's enzymes, which lead to side effects such as hearing and hair loss and kidney dysfunction.

Though scientists don't fully understand the mechanism by which the phosphaplatins kill cancer cells, they suspect that the compounds bind to the cell surface membrane proteins and transmit a "death signal" to the interior of the cell, Bose said. The compounds are created by attaching platinum to a phosphate ligand, which can readily anchor to the cell membrane. Future studies will focus on identifying the exact process.

"The findings suggest a paradigm shift in potential molecular targets for platinum anticancer drugs and in their strategic development," said Bose, a professor of biomedical sciences and chemistry and vice president for research at Ohio University who conducted the work while at Northern Illinois University.

The first drug developed for the treatment of ovarian and testicular cancers, cisplatin, was approved for use in 1982. Though it's 95 percent effective, it works best during the early stages of the disease, and some patients develop a resistance to it. Two drugs introduced later, carboplatin and oxaliplatin (which is used for colorectal cancer), overcame some of those problems, but their potency can harm the immune system of patients, said Bose, who has been studying alternative compounds and targets for these cancers for 25 years.

Phosphaplatins have the potential to be more efficient, more targeted and create fewer side effects in the patient, Bose said. The new study shows that the phosphaplatins can kill ovarian cells at half of the dosage of conventional drugs, but are just as potent. Unlike cisplatin, which can decompose quickly and create additional toxic side effects through the decomposition products, the new compounds show no signs of degradation after seven days, he added.

A U.S. patent is pending on the work; two provisional patents have been filed. Bose and his colleagues next will test the compounds in mice models.

Source: Ohio University

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Stem cell vaccine immunizes lab mice against multiple cancers

February 15, 2018
Stanford University researchers report that injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) launched a strong immune response against breast, lung, and skin cancers. The vaccine also prevented relapses ...

Induced pluripotent stem cells could serve as cancer vaccine, researchers say

February 15, 2018
Induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are a keystone of regenerative medicine. Outside the body, they can be coaxed to become many different types of cells and tissues that can help repair damage due to trauma or ...

Team paves the way to the use of immunotherapy to treat aggressive colon tumors

February 15, 2018
In a short space of time, immunotherapy against cancer cells has become a powerful approach to treat cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. However, to date, most colon tumours appeared to be unresponsive to this kind ...

Can our genes help predict how women respond to ovarian cancer treatment?

February 15, 2018
Research has identified gene variants that play a significant role in how women with ovarian cancer process chemotherapy.

First comparison of common breast cancer tests finds varied accuracy of predictions

February 15, 2018
Commercially-available prognostic breast cancer tests show significant variation in their abilities to predict disease recurrence, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London of nearly 800 postmenopausal women.

Catching up to brain cancer: Researchers develop accurate model of how aggressive cancer cells move and spread

February 15, 2018
A brief chat at a Faculty Senate meeting put two University of Delaware researchers onto an idea that could be of great value to cancer researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.