A small-scale drug trial in the United States recently made headlines when all of the participants" rectal cancers went into remission after being treated with the medicine dostarlimab. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it revealed that all 12 individuals with rectal cancer had their cancer go away.
Another medical breakthrough that has made news is the
discovery of a novel molecule that can destroy a wide range of malignancies, including triple-negative breast cancer, while avoiding healthy cells. The study was published in the journal Nature Cancer and was conducted in isolated cells on human cancer tissue and human tumours produced in mice.
Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn, a co-corresponding study author and an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas" School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, created an innovative compound by exploiting a weakness in cells that had previously been ignored by other drugs.
He has been developing possible therapeutic drugs for medicine breast cancer and prostate cancer for years by designing tiny chemicals that target protein-to-protein interactions in cells.
ERX-41 Kills Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells Effectively
Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn and his colleagues investigated the therapeutic effects of the produced chemical ERX-41 on breast cancer cells with and without oestrogen receptors (ERs). Both ER-positive and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells were killed by the new chemical.
TNBC is notorious for having the poorest results of any kind of breast cancer, and there are only a few therapeutic options available. It is more common in women under the age of 40 and lacks oestrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2 receptors.
Dr. Jung-mo Ahn explained, "The ERX-41 chemical did not destroy healthy cells, but it wiped away tumour cells irrespective of whether the cancer cells contained oestrogen receptors."
He went on to say, "In fact, it destroyed triple-negative breast cancer cells faster than it killed ER-positive cells."
"Triple-negative breast cancer is very devious — it targets women at early ages; it"s aggressive, and it"s treatment-resistant," Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn noted. I"m overjoyed that we"ve uncovered something that has the opportunity to assist these people significantly."
Cancer Cells Must Be Killed in a Specific Way
ERX-41 binds to a cellular protein termed lysosomal acid lipase A (LIPA), which is a promising molecular target in TNBC, according to further studies. LIPA is located in the endoplasmic reticulum, a cell structure. ERX-41 binds to LIPA and prevents protein synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum, which causes bloating and cell death. As a result, the study suggests that generating endoplasmic reticulum stress, which leads to cell death, is a targeted therapy for solid tumours.
It was also discovered that ERX-41 was effective against other malignancies with high endoplasmic reticulum stress, such as difficult-to-treat pancreatic and ovarian tumours, glioblastoma, and the most malignant primary brain cancer.
The chemical was found to be effective in eradicating human malignant tumours in mice and cancer cells in human tissue from removed tumours when tested. Furthermore, when the scientists tested the chemical in healthy mice, there were no negative effects. This shows that the new substance not only destroys cancer cells but also has no negative side effects.
The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, as well as the Cancer Prevention and Research Organization of Texas and the Welch Foundation, are all supporting the initiative.
Dr. Jung-Mo Ahn and others co-founded the firm, which recently announced that clinical studies using ERX-41 will begin in the first quarter of 2023.