Breast cancer drug discovery offers hope of new treatments

May 23, 2016, University of Edinburgh

A drug for breast cancer that is more effective than existing medicines may be a step closer thanks to new research.

Scientists have identified a that is highly effective at blocking the growth of cells in the laboratory.

The compound - called eCF506 - targets a molecule called Src tyrosine kinase that is required for to grow and spread.

Drugs that target the same molecule are already being tested in clinical trials. Researchers say eCF506 is different because it is more selective and doesn't affect other molecules in the cell.

This may mean it will be more effective and have fewer side effects than the other drugs in development but further studies are needed, researchers say.

The study identified the compound using a pioneering approach that uses imaging techniques to directly visualise the effects of candidate drugs on cells.

The team from the University of Edinburgh says the discovery proves that this approach offers a powerful and cost-effective method of discovering for cancer and other diseases.

The study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, was funded by the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the commercialisation catalyst Sunergos Innovations.

Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta, who led the study at the University's Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, said: "eCF506 is the first candidate of a second generation of Src inhibitors that will not only help to understand the complexity of some cancers but also the development of safer combination therapies."

Professor Neil Carragher, Head of the Edinburgh Cancer Discovery Unit at the University of Edinburgh, who co-led the study, said: "This candidate drug will need to undergo further preclinical testing before it can be taken forward into but these early findings are very promising.

"The result provides further support for our new drug discovery approach, which aims to deliver more effective medicines at reduced costs for patients and healthcare providers."

Explore further: Imaging gives clearer picture of cancer drugs' chances of success

More information: Craig Fraser et al, Rapid Discovery and Structure–Activity Relationships of Pyrazolopyrimidines That Potently Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Growth via SRC Kinase Inhibition with Exceptional Selectivity over ABL Kinase, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00065

Related Stories

Imaging gives clearer picture of cancer drugs' chances of success

April 28, 2014
The quest for new cancer treatments could be revolutionised by advances in technology that can visualise living cells and tissues, scientists claim.

Potential cholesterol-lowering drug molecule has prostate cancer fighting capabilities

April 14, 2016
Standard treatment for prostate cancer can include chemotherapy that targets receptors on cancer cells. However, drug-resistant cancer cells can emerge during chemotherapy, limiting its effectiveness as a cancer-fighting ...

Scientists pioneer a breakthrough approach to breast cancer treatment

May 9, 2016
In a development that could lead to a new generation of drugs to precisely treat a range of diseases, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have for the first time designed a drug candidate ...

Promising drugs turn immune system on cancer

September 24, 2015
Cancer Research UK scientists have shown that a class of experimental drug treatments already in clinical trials could also help the body's immune system to fight cancer, according to a study published today (Thursday) in ...

New class of small molecule drug, SI-2, has potential for improving cancer treatment

April 18, 2016
Cancer cells communicate with their environment through cell molecules that pass on signals to the inside of the cell. The signals help cancer cells multiply and migrate, spreading the disease. One strategy to fight cancer ...

Metal implants may cut chemotherapy side effects, study suggests

February 13, 2014
Cancer patients could one day experience fewer side effects from chemotherapy following a discovery that opens the door for more targeted treatments.

Recommended for you

Stress hormone is key factor in failure of immune system to prevent leukemia

August 14, 2018
The human stress hormone cortisol has been identified by scientists at the University of Kent as a key factor when the immune system fails to prevent leukemia taking hold.

Researchers artificially generate immune cells integral to creating cancer vaccines

August 14, 2018
For the first time, Mount Sinai researchers have identified a way to make large numbers of immune cells that can help prevent cancer reoccurrence, according to a study published in August in Cell Reports.

Chemicals found in vegetables prevent colon cancer in mice

August 14, 2018
Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, a new study from the Francis Crick Institute shows.

Medically underserved women in the Southeast rarely receive BRCA tests

August 14, 2018
Medically underserved women in the Southeast diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer missed out on genetic testing that could have helped them and their relatives make important decisions about their health, according ...

Ovarian cancer genetics unravelled

August 14, 2018
Patterns of genetic mutation in ovarian cancer are helping make sense of the disease, and could be used to personalise treatment in future.

Lymphatic vessels unexpectedly promote the spread of cancer metastases

August 14, 2018
Lymphatic vessels actively contribute to the spread of cancer metastases from various organs. This unexpected realisation is the result of a joint study by researchers from ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich as ...

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.