A group of oncologists and chemists from the United States managed to obtain a compound that blocks the movement of cancer cells in the body. In the future, the development will help to prevent the formation of metastases and increase the effectiveness of existing methods of cancer therapy.
American researchers have developed a compound that allows to “immobilize” cancer cells, preventing them from moving in the patient’s body. The method was effective for four types of diseases: breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. The description of the development is published in the journal Nature Communications.
The chances for recovery from many types of cancer are rapidly falling when the affected cells begin to migrate from the primary focus of the disease to other areas of the body. As a result, there are metastases – secondary foci of the disease. Most often they form in the lymph nodes, liver and lungs. According to scientists, the new method will stop the movement of cells, not releasing them beyond the original focus of the disease. This will increase the likelihood of recovery with the help of existing methods.
The new compound KBU2046 is the isoflavone derivative of genistein, which is found in soybeans, garden beans and coffee. Earlier with the help of genistein, it was possible to stop the formation of metastases in mice with tumors of the prostate gland. Despite this, it is impossible to use genistein itself in cancer therapy in humans: the substance affects many processes in the body, so it can cause dangerous side effects.
Researchers synthesized several structural modifications of genistein and tested how these substances interact with tumor cells. KBU2046 “immobilizes” cancer cells by blocking the phosphorylation of the HSP90β protein, which belongs to the class of heat shock proteins: their expression increases with temperature or other stressful conditions. KBU2046 was recognized as the most effective of the compounds studied – it caused minimal side effects and did not bind to estrogen receptors (this could provoke unwanted reactions in breast cancer). In in vitro studies, the substance prevented the movement of cells from four common types of cancer.
The technique has already been tested in mice with several types of tumors. KBU2046 successfully blocked the appearance of metastases, slowed the destruction of bone tissue and prolonged the life of animals. Tests involving people have not yet been conducted. According to the creators of technology, such a study will take at least two years.
Previously, researchers from Stanford University developed a technology that allows you to track individual tumor cells.