Drug stops cancer from developing resistance
A drug that stops tumours developing resistance to chemotherapy is to be tested on patients with two of the most deadly cancers.
Scientists have shown that the compound, known as CCT245737, boosts the effectiveness of cancer treatment in mice. They are now preparing to give it to trial patients suffering from lung and pancreatic cancers, both diseases with poor survival rates.
The drug belongs to a new class of therapeutic agents called CHK1 inhibitors, which can be delivered orally as a pill or liquid that is swallowed rather than injected.
It targets a molecule called CHK1 that cancer cells activate to help them repair the DNA damage inflicted by chemotherapy.
The hope is that blocking the molecule will prevent cancers becoming resistant and improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
Professor Ian Collins, from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, where CCT245737 was discovered, said: "We're excited that our new CHK1 inhibitor... is progressing towards first-in-human clinical trials.
"By using CHK1 inhibitors with chemotherapy, we block one of cancer's escape routes and prevent tumours from evading the effects of treatment.
"We hope that clinical trials of our new drug will show it to be an effective chemotherapy booster in lung and pancreatic cancers, which readily become resistant to current treatments," he said.