Combination of 2 drugs reverses liver tumors

May 2, 2012, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

The combination of two inhibitors of protein mTOR stops the growth of primary liver cancer and destroys tumour cells, according to a study by researchers of the Group of Metabolism and Cancer at Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL). The study results are been published on the online edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Primary liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma is the fifth most common cancer and, due to its aggressiveness, is the third most deadly. It affects half a million people worldwide. Two of every three cases are related to , the exposure of or infection with or C. The remaining third is related to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a disease related to obesity.

Promising candidates

Currently, the antitumor shows the better patient outcomes, but its effectiveness decreases over time. For this reason, it is necessary to find new therapies. Among the most promising candidates are the inhibitors of the mTOR signalling pathway, which is hyperactivated in half of those affected by hepatocellular carcinoma.

The study led by IDIBELL researchers compared the effects in mice of two inhibitors of mTOR. The first was a derivative of rapamycin, called everolimus (RAD001), which is already used as an and to treat specific cancers. The second is a new generation drug that inhibits mTOR called BEZ235.

During the study, researchers found unexpectedly that the combination of the two drugs had a more potent effect than any of the two drugs separately. Coadministration of BEZ235 and RAD001 limits the development of tumour and causes the self-destruction of .

Based on these results a clinical trial, funded by Novartis, has started in the United States to evaluate the efficacy of the combination of these two inhibitors of mTOR in humans. The study coordinator, Sara Kozma, noted that "because rapamycin and its derivatives are already approved for the treatment of other diseases, their combination to BEZ235, would be a rapid strategy to test the efficacy of this drug and fast track its approval for clinical use."

Metabolism and Cancer Group

Dr. Kozma has recently joined the IDIBELL, along with Dr. George Thomas, who also participated in the study. The researchers, coming from the University of Cincinnati, have launched a new group of Metabolism and Cancer in IDIBELL.

The study published in Science Translational Medicine has been conducted in the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with the Center for Cancer Research National Institute U.S. medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles, Cincinnati Children 's Hospital Medical Center and research institutes of Novartis.

Explore further: Experimental drug inhibits cell signaling pathway and slows ovarian cancer growth

More information: Sci. Transl. Med. April 25 2012 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003923

Related Stories

Experimental drug inhibits cell signaling pathway and slows ovarian cancer growth

April 15, 2011
An experimental drug that blocks two points of a crucial cancer cell signaling pathway inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells and significantly increases survival in an ovarian cancer mouse model, a study at UCLA's Jonsson ...

Renal cancer drug temsirolimus shows promise against mesothelioma

May 1, 2011
A drug commonly used to treat kidney cancer may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Scientists discover new component of key growth-regulating signaling pathway

June 14, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers in the lab of Whitehead Institute Member David Sabatini have identified a new substrate of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase, called Grb10, by using a two-pronged approach of mass ...

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

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.