Chemical compound prevents cancer in lab

May 13, 2008

While researching new ways to stop the progression of cancer, researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, have discovered a compound that has shown to prevent cancer in the laboratory. The research appears in the journal Gene Regulation and Systems Biology.

The compound, which still faces several rounds of clinical trials, successfully stopped normal cells from turning into cancer cells and inhibited the ability of tumors to grow and form blood vessels. If successful tests continue, researchers plan to create a daily pill that would be taken as a cancer preventive.

“This compound was effective against the 12 types of cancers that it was tested on,” said Doris Benbrook, Ph.D., principal investigator and researcher at the OU Cancer Institute. “Even more promising for health care is that it prevents the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells and is therefore now being developed by the National Cancer Institute as a cancer prevention drug.”

The synthetic compound, SHetA2, a Flex-Het drug, directly targets abnormalities in cancer cell components without damaging normal cells. The disruption causes cancer cells to die and keeps tumors from forming.

Flex-Hets or flexible heteroarotinoids are synthetic compounds that can change certain parts of a cell and affect its growth. Among the diseases and conditions being studied for treatment with Flex-Hets are polycystic kidney disease, kidney cancer and ovarian cancer.

Benbrook and her research team have patented the Flex-Het discovery and hope to start clinical trials for the compound within 5 years. If the compound is found to be safe, it would be developed into a pill to be taken daily like a multi-vitamin to prevent cancer.

The compound also could be used to prevent cancer from returning after traditional radiation and chemotherapy treatments, especially in cancers that are caught in later stages such as ovarian cancer where life expectancy can be as short as 6 months after treatment.

“It would be a significant advancement in health care if this pill is effective in preventing cancer, and we could avoid the severe toxicity and suffering that late stage cancer patients have to experience,” Benbrook said.

Source: University of Oklahoma

Explore further: Gene test aids cancer profile

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

5 hours ago

Turner Broadcasting channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are back on the Dish network after being dropped from the satellite TV provider's lineup during contract talks.

LiquidPiston unveils quiet X Mini engine prototype

10 hours ago

LiquidPiston has a new X Mini engine which is a small 70 cubic centimeter gasoline powered "prototype. This is a quiet, four-stroke engine with near-zero vibration. The company said it can bring improvements ...

Recommended for you

Gene test aids cancer profile

1 hour ago

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

How a common antacid could lead to cheaper anti-cancer drugs

18 hours ago

A popular indigestion medication can increase survival in colorectal cancer, according to research published in ecancermedicalscience. But in fact, scientists have studied this for years - and a group of cancer advocates want t ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
4 / 5 (2) May 13, 2008
And if you believe that big pharma and the industrial medical cartel will allow such a drug to be marketed, or even make it to phase I testing, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in buying.
E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet May 14, 2008
a TABLET AFTER EVERY MAMMAGRAM MIGHT HELP!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.