In a revolutionary finding that could be a milestone in oncology, a team of researchers have discovered a drug compound that can stop the motility of cancer cells in an affected human body. The research team led by Raymond Bergan, division chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), USA, claimed to have successfully designed new molecules that inhibited the motility of cancer cells.
The scientists claim that the drug will be an effective cure for a vast majority of cancers including that of the breast, prostrate, lung and colon. The research has been published 'Nature Communications,' a science journal.
The drug has been developed by a multidisciplinary team of investigators that included Bergan's team at OHSU, a chemist from Northwestern University as well as researchers from Xiamen University in China, the University of Chicago and the University of Washington.
Bergan and team had embarked on the research in 2011 and worked with chemists to jointly discover a drug that would curtail the movement of cancer cells. The team worked with the compound KBU2046, which inhibited cell movement in four different human cell models of breast, prostrate, colon and lung cancer types.
The new molecules were designed and created in the lab of Karl Scheidt, professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology; director of the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery and executive director of the New Cures accelerator at Northwestern University, Illinois USA. They were then tested by Bergan's team for their ability to prevent cell motility.
"All drugs have side effects, so you look for the drug that is the most specific as possible. This drug does that," says Bergan who added that the key to this drug was engaging the 'heat shock proteins' of a cell. The drug binds to these proteins to stop the movement of the cell without causing any other effect on those proteins. Bergan says it is a unique mechanism that took 'years to figure out.'
However, the drug has not been tested in humans yet. Bergan and team estimates that the research will take at least two years and five million dollars before it is made available to the mainstream medical world.
"Our eventual goal is to be able to say to a woman with breast cancer: here, take this pill and your cancer won't spread throughout your body. The same thing for patients with prostate, lung, and colon cancer," says Bergan.