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A potential new treatment for Type II endometrial cancer

Posts: 311
Joined: Oct 2017


Paper in Nature (one of the top medical journals) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-017-0009-7 . 

Researchers then fueled the nanoparticles with two anti-cancer drugs: paclitaxel, a type of chemotherapy used to treat endometrial cancer, and nintedanib, or BIBF 1120, a relatively new drug used to restrict tumor blood vessel growth. However, in the UI study, the drug was used for a different purpose. Besides limiting blood vessel growth, nintedanib also targets tumor cells with a specific mutation. The mutation, known as Loss of Function p53, interrupts the normal life cycle of tumor cells and makes them more resistant to the lethal effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy kills cells when they are in the process of mitosis, or cell division, and tumor cells with the Loss of Function p53 mutation often are stuck in a limbo state that slows this process. Cancers that are resistant to chemotherapy are much harder to treat and have less favorable outcomes.

Nintedanib attacks tumor cells with the Loss of Function p53 mutation and compels them to enter mitosis and divide, at which point they are more easily killed by chemotherapy. Ebeid says this is the first time that researchers have used nintedanib to force tumor cells into mitosis and kill them—a phenomenon scientists refer to as “synthetic lethality.”

“Basically, we are taking advantage of the tumor cells’ Achilles heel—the Loss of Function mutation—and then sweeping in and killing them with chemotherapy,” Ebeid says. “We call this a synthetically lethal situation because we are creating the right conditions for massive cell death.”

The treatment—and cellular death that it incites—could be used to treat other cancers as well, including types of ovarian and lung cancers that also carry the Loss of Function p53 mutation.

“We believe our research could have a positive impact beyond the treatment of endometrial cancer,” says Aliasger K. Salem, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the UI and corresponding author on the study. “We hope that since the drugs used in our study have already been approved for clinical use, we will be able to begin working with patients soon.”

If you have this particular endometrial cancer, it might make sense to contact the researchers at University of Iowa and see if they are ready to start a clinical trial. 


Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank you for posting this new research. If it proves out in human clinical trials it could really change the experience and hopefully improve survival. 

EZLiving66's picture
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

As someone with UPSC, all I can say is WOW, I sure hope this works!



Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

(Perks ears.)

Cool. Really, really cool!


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