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Enhancing chemotherapy's efficacy: New agent has synergistic effect with standard drugs

Integrating the use of drugs targeted to specific cancer proteins into current chemotherapy regimens to improve the efficacy of systemic treatment is an important clinical goal at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Fox Chase research presented during the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles has found that a new chemical agent, MCP110, has a synergistic effect both in vitro and in vivo when used with current chemotherapy drugs such as taxanes (Taxol and Taxotere) and vinca-alkaloid compounds such as vincristine.

This synergistic effectin which the effect of two agents is greater than the sum of their individual effectsappeared when using the combination of MCP110 and Taxol on laboratory cell cultures of human Kaposi's sarcoma and mouse models carrying human lung and colon cancer cells.

"Together, these findings indicate that MCP compounds have potential to be effective in combination with other anticancer agents," the authors concluded.

Vladimir Khazak, Ph.D., now director of biology at NexusPharma, Inc., in Langhorne, Pa., and formerly a postdoctoral associate in the Fox Chase laboratory of molecular biologist Erica A. Golemis, Ph.D., presented the research in an AACR poster session. The work also appears in the March 1 issue of the AACR journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics ("In vitro and in vivo synergy of MCP compounds with mitogen-activated protein kinase pathwayand microtubule-targeting inhibitors").

The work builds on prior findings published by the team in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which first identified MCP compounds, and demonstrated that MCP compounds have the ability to inhibit the growth of cultured cancer cells that depend on interactions of the Ras and Raf oncogenesgrowth-promoting genes that can transform cells to cancerous ones if the oncogene is activated inappropriately.

The growth signals sent by these oncogenes use a well-traveled enzyme pathwa
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Contact: Karen Mallet
karen.mallet@fccc.edu
215-728-2700
Fox Chase Cancer Center
15-Apr-2007


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