Novel compound shows promise against breast cancer

July 28, 2016

Potential drug doubles survival time in mice by interrupting tumor growth, promoting cancer cell death

By: Misti Crane

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A promising new compound appears to impede a process that fuels breast cancer in mice, a discovery that could have implications in the treatment of a host of cancers.

On top of short-circuiting the proliferation of cancer cells, a new agent that the researchers called Fasnall also contributed to the death of existing cancer cells, according to scientists from The Ohio State University and Duke University.

The mice injected with Fasnall survived for an average of 63 days, more than double the lifespan of the mice in the control group. After three weeks, tumors in the mice that received Fasnall were about two-thirds the size of those in the control group, the researchers report in a study published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.

When researchers tried Fasnall alongside the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, they saw tumors shrink and survival increase more than with either agent by itself.

The study focused on mice with HER2-positive breast cancer, which is responsible for about one in five breast cancer diagnoses in women. But because of the critical role of an enzyme called fatty acid synthase in a variety of cancers, this work could have much broader implications, said Ohio State’s Jesse Kwiek, an associate professor of microbiology and microbial infection and immunity.

The discovery, five years in the making, was speedy by drug development standards, he said.

“We started with an idea and got it to work in a mouse in a relatively short amount of time,” Kwiek said.

“It’s a promising starting point.”

To read the full article, originally published on June 2, 2016, please visit news.osu.edu