Drugs Targeting Cancer Stem Cells

The study of cancer stem cells is important for the development of new cancer treatments. Existing chemotherapeutics may eradicate the bulk of a tumor but residual stem cells may remain to initiate new tumor growth. Novel treatments that target cancer stem cell will help to eliminate the source of the cancer and increase remission times. Using a compound library screening strategy, researchers at JHU have identified a compound, a metal chelator and NF-?inhibitor, which exhibits preferential activity for a stem cell-rich sphere culture derived from the breast cancer cell line MCF7. In vivo studies in a nude mouse tumor xenograph model demonstrated that the compound?s analogue, which has enhanced bioavailability, had significant anti-tumor activity. In addition, a combination of the novel analogue and paclitaxel exhibited markedly superior anticancer activity than either drug alone. The novel analogue described in this invention may be used in combination therapy with other standard drugs to target tumor initiating stem cells in cancer. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women throughout the world with approximately one million new cases each year. The market for breast cancer therapeutics is large with sales reaching 5.3 billion worldwide in 2004, and is projected to hit the 10 billion mark by 2011. There is increasing awareness in the scientific community that the eradication of cancer stem cells holds the key to effective cancer treatments in the future. The novel compound described herein may hold promise for improving cancer treatments in the clinic due to its ability to eliminate the root of the cancer and lengthen remission times.

Inventor(s): Zhang, Ying

Type of Offer: Licensing

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