Researchers have discovered two chemical compounds that effectively stop the growth of brain cancer cells and breast tumours, opening the way for potential new drugs to be developed.
"It is particularly encouraging for brain tumour patients, who do not currently have effective treatment options besides surgery
," said James Turkson from University of Hawaii Cancer Centre in the US.
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"The targeted treatments are less toxic and, therefore, will give cancer patients a better quality of life when both compounds are developed as drugs," Turkson said.
In the study published in the journal Cancer
Research, the researchers examined compounds that inhibit Stat3, a protein implicated in a variety of cancers that include brain and breast cancers.
In mouse models of brain and breast cancer, the two compounds effectively inhibited tumour growth, the results said.
The two chemical compounds, a hydroxamic acid-based inhibitor (SH5-07), and a benzoic acid-based inhibitor (SH4-54) designed at the UH Cancer Center stopped the growth of brain and breast cancer
cells by blocking a certain function of the Stat3 protein.
The two compounds stop the protein from promoting cancer cells to grow, thus stopping the tumours from growing.
"Our results offer preclinical proof of concept for SH5-07 and SH4-54 as candidates for further development as cancer therapeutics," the study said.