Cancerous cells resistance to drug treatments is a huge problem and imperils the survival of cancer patients. Treatment resistant tumors are a big threat for patients, as once a cancer stops responding to treatments there is little clinicians can do.
Scientists have discovered that a solution might lie in a new drug that tackles cancer cells differently. The drug, ICECO942, targets a molecule that helps cancer cells to read instructions in their DNA. In fact, targeting this function has received attention lately as a new approach to treating cancer.
Cancerous: How ICECO942 Fights Cancerous Cells
ICECO942 targets the way that cancer cells read their DNA. For a cell to thrive, it needs to keep reading its DNA, which contains instructions on how make proteins and regulate vital functions that keep cells alive.
The process of reading DNA is called transcription and involves copying instructions in the relevant section of DNA into a molecule called messenger RNA, which carries them from the nucleus into the body of the cell where it makes proteins.
ICECO942 targets a molecule called cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7), which helps to steer cells through the stages of growth, DNA copying, and cell division.
CDK7 also kick-starts the process of transcription and helps to control other transcription factors, including the estrogen receptor (ER)-α, which is a key protein in breast cancer.
Cancerous: Study Results
ICECO942 showed substantial anti-tumor effects in animals with breast and colorectal tumors that grew from implanted cancer cells.
In addition, when they combined the drug with tamoxifen, it completely stopped the growth of estrogen induced positive tumors.
Moreover, results suggest that ICEC0942 is a good candidate for the treatment of breast cancer.
It may also be effective against other cancers such as small-cell lung cancer and acute leukemia. These cancers also display transcription characteristics.