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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Hope for new cancer drug

Wednesday July 8th, 2015

A new cancer drug is 49 times more powerful than a standard platinum therapy, researchers have claimed.

FY26 was developed at Warwick University, UK, and has now been tested by laboratories in the UK and the USA.

It is based on the precious metal osmium rather than platinum.

Developers say they hope it will have fewer side-effects than platinum-based therapies.

Details of the tests by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. Researchers tested 809 cancer cell lines.

In the USA, the National Cancer Institutes tested 60 cell lines.

The drug works by blocking cancer cells from harvesting energy from the cytoplasm - a process that is necessary because of defective mitochondria.

Researcher Professor Peter Sadler, of Warwick University, said: “Platinum-based drugs are used in nearly 50% of all chemotherapeutic regimens and exert their activity by damaging DNA and cannot select between cancerous and non-cancerous cells.

"This can lead to a wide-range of side-effects from renal failure to neurotoxicity, ototoxicity, nausea and vomiting.

“Existing platinum-based cancer treatments often become less effective after the first course, as cancer cells learn how they are being attacked, but our new osmium compound with its different mechanism of action, remains active against cancer cells that have become resistant to drugs."

Potent organo-osmium compound shifts metabolism in epithelial ovarian cancer cells PNAS 6 July 2015

Tags: Cancer | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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