New aspirin-based prodrug may prevent damage caused by chemotherapy

January 10, 2014 by James Hataway, University of Georgia

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a new prodrug that promises to reduce many of the negative side effects caused by cisplatin, a commonly prescribed chemotherapy treatment.

Cisplatin may be used to treat a variety of cancers, but it is most commonly prescribed for cancer of the bladder, ovaries, cervix, testicles and lung. It is an effective drug, but it often causes severe and irreversible damage to a patient's kidneys, hearing and sense of balance.

UGA researchers combined with aspirin in a new single prodrug formulation they call Platin-A, which prevents these negative by reducing inflammation. They reported their findings recently in Angewandte Chemie, a journal published by the German Chemical Society.

"We know that inflammation plays a major role in the development of these side effects," said Rakesh Pathak, lead author of the paper and postdoctoral research associate in the UGA chemistry department. "By attaching aspirin to cisplatin, we can help control this response and reduce damage to the body."

Reducing these negative side effects will not only provide the patient with a better quality of life during and after treatment, but it may also make oncologists less hesitant to prescribe cisplatin.

Prodrugs like Platin-A enter the body in a mostly inactive state, but they are converted to their active state after going through normal metabolic processes. Prodrugs allow scientists to have more control over the simultaneous release of both drugs and how long it remains active.

"You could administer aspirin separately from chemotherapy, but it would not be as effective as this prodrug formulation," said Shanta Dhar, assistant professor of chemistry in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator for the project.

"It's a bit like making a cocktail," she said. "You could drink each of the ingredients one by one, but it works much better if you put it all in the same glass first."

Both Dhar and Pathak caution that their experimental results are preliminary and they must do more work before this is tested in living organisms. However, they say the new formulation shows great promise.

While this project focused specifically on prostate cancer and one chemotherapy drug as a model, they believe that the same approach could work for many other forms of cancer and their preferred treatment.

"We are now developing a platform where we can plug in any with any anti-inflammatory and find out which combinations work best," Dhar said.

The researchers also plan to incorporate this technology into their ongoing work with nanotherapeutics. Dhar's NanoTherapeutics Research lab has created numerous nanoparticles, each one 1,000 times finer than the width of a human hair, which they use to attack pathogens and deliver drugs.

"If we use nanoparticles to deliver our prodrug, we can control where it goes and how it breaks down with even more precision," said Dhar, who is also a member of UGA's Cancer Center, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, and Center for Drug Discovery. "This is our next step."

Explore further: Researchers use lithium to ease pain caused by anti-cancer drug

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … e.201308899/abstract

Related Stories

Researchers use lithium to ease pain caused by anti-cancer drug

October 30, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Taxol, generically called paclitaxel, is a widely used drug in chemotherapy treatments. Taxol is used to treat cancer in the lungs, ovaries and breast, but it can also cause severe neuropathic pain and ...

Old remedy shows promise as new chemo drug for bladder cancer

October 3, 2013
An old home remedy called ipecac syrup, once stocked in medicine cabinets in case of accidental poisoning, is showing promise as a new chemotherapy drug for bladder cancer.

Recommended for you

Study involving hundreds of patient samples may reveal new treatment options of leukemia

October 17, 2018
After more than five years and 672 patient samples, an OHSU research team has published the largest cancer dataset of its kind for a form of leukemia. The study, "Functional Genomic Landscape of Acute Myeloid Leukemia", published ...

A 150-year-old drug might improve radiation therapy for cancer

October 17, 2018
A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more sensitive to radiation therapy, according to a recent study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer ...

Loss of protein p53 helps cancer cells multiply in 'unfavourable' conditions

October 17, 2018
Researchers have discovered a novel consequence of loss of the tumour protein p53 that promotes cancer development, according to new findings in eLife.

New method uses just a drop of blood to monitor lung cancer treatment

October 17, 2018
Dr. Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discovering the immune T-cell protein PD-1. This discovery led to a set of anti-cancer medications called checkpoint inhibitors, one of the first of ...

Gene screening technique helps identify genes involved in a fatty liver-associated liver cancer

October 17, 2018
With an estimated twenty-thousand protein-coding genes in the human genome, pinpointing a specific gene or pathway responsible for a particular disease can be like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack. This has certainly ...

Scientists zero in on ways to boost colorectal cancer screening

October 17, 2018
A comprehensive analysis by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers evaluated more than 70 clinical studies to identify some of the most effective methods for boosting U.S. colorectal ...

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.