A big new breakthrough drug could lead to better treatments for prostate cancer in men.
Scientists have developed a new experimental drug that is capable of attacking risk factors in cancer growth that leads to prostate cancer in men. The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, could help pave the way toward better treatments against the second leading cause of cancer death for men.
The drug works by targeting abnormally high levels of protein, which has been linked to cancer growth. It would make the cells more vulnerable to radiation, thus making cancer treatments more effective, according to a Johns Hopkins Medicine statement.
It would also make radiation safer in those cases, which would be a boon to the nearly 200,000 men whoa re diagnosed with prostate cancer each year int he United states. Many cancers become resistant to the effects of radiation as they advance, so it’s an important finding.
“The researchers then developed a molecule referred to as RK-33 that was designed to disrupt DDX3’s function by locking on to a portion of the protein,” the statement reads. “They showed in previous studies with cell cultures that when adding RK-33 to malignant lung and other cancerous cells that highly express DDX3, proliferation slowed or halted, and the cells’ ability to form colonies was impaired. Additionally, RK-33 appeared to be a radiosensitizer, making the destructive effects of radiation more pronounced.
“As with results of their earlier studies, the investigators found that the higher the expression of this protein, the more aggressive the cancer, which is determined by how the cells invade other tissue types and their ability to form tumors in laboratory models of cancers. When the researchers used gene engineering techniques to knock out DDX3 expression in laboratory-grown cell cultures that highly expressed this protein, cell proliferation was half that of cell cultures with high DDX3 expression.”