In a new study, researchers have discovered that a drug could help prevent cancer from metastasizing.
The new finding may help develop a more effective treatment for cancer patients.
The research was conducted by a national team of scientists led by Purdue University.
Current cancer therapies focus on killing all of the cancer cells in the body. However, there are lots of studies suggesting that this is impossible to do.
A new treatment strategy suggests that we shouldn’t try to kill all of the cancer cells, but try to keep the cells in a low state that doesn’t increase symptoms.
In the study, the team used this strategy and identified a drug called fostamatinib, which is sold under the trade name Tavalisse.
They used the drug fostamatinib because it inhibits a particular protein, spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK), that is found in these disseminated cancer cells.
The researchers focused on breast cancer because it is especially known to lead to metastasizing cancers years later.
They found that the drug could effectively block and contain metastatic cancer cells in mice.
The team suggests that with the drug, it is possible to block these cells in a dormant state.
Even if a patient has these metastasizing cells, doctors can hold them in this state for a very long time.
Another good news is that this drug is with low toxicity and has fewer side effects compared with other cancer treatments.
It’s designed for people with chronic disease so that they can take for a long time.
The team believes that the drug fostamatinib is a perfect candidate for this kind of years-long ‘lock-‘n’-block’ type of approach.
The finding provides a good example that a drug already on the market can be used for another use and can be a therapy to keep cancer from metastasizing.
One author of the study is Michael Wendt, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology
The study is published in Cancer Research.
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