Researchers from the University of Hawaii (HI, US) have identified two compounds that prevent the growth of brain and breast cancer cells, which may lead to the development of novel cancer drugs. The findings of the study are published in the journal Cancer Research.
James Turkson and Marcus Tius studied compounds that inhibit Stat3, a protein implicated in a wide range of cancers, including brain and breast cancers. They identified these two chemical compounds, a hydroxamic acid-based inhibitor (SH5-07), and a benzoic acid-based inhibitor (SH4-54), which inhibited the growth of brain and breast cancer cells by blocking a particular function of the Stat3 protein.
When Stat3 protein loses its normal function it drives cells to continue growing and causes tumor cells to multiply and spread. The two compounds prevent the protein from promoting cancer cells to grow, therefore stopping tumor growth.
“Targeted therapies are based on understanding what is driving the cancer and how new drugs are designed to attack those cancer causing pathways,” explained Turkson. “We would like to advance these studies to turn the chemical compounds into new anti-cancer drugs to help patients potentially have better survival chances.”