Researchers are constantly looking for new ways to offer more effective and personalized treatments to those suffering with cancer. A team of researchers from Inserm that was led by Stéphane Rocchi were successfully able to synthesis a few new drugs that can be used in the treatment of melanoma. One of the medications is called HA15, and works by reducing the viability of melanoma cells without harming healthy cells. The complete work was published in Cancer Cell journal.
Melanoma is a very aggressive type of skin cancer that affects melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that help synthesis melanin, which provides skin with its unique color. There are three stages that occur as tumors grow: redial growth, vertical growth and metastatic. The Radial growth stage is when the cells proliferate, becoming disorganized within the epidermis. The second phase involves the dermis being invaded by the cancer and the final phase is when cells disperse into the surrounding tissues.
Treating the cancer during the metastatic phase with targeted therapies and immunotherapies works well in most patients, however many treatments are required in order to prevent the tumor from returning and to avoid more metastases from being created. New drug treatments are a must in order to pinpoint effective biotherapies to fight the dangerous cancer. Currently, the number of people suffering from melanoma is doubling every ten years.
Researchers from Nice have uncovered a new family of drugs known as the Thiazole Benzensulfonamides (TZB) which have very helpful anticancer properties. Stéphane Rocchi says the family of drugs were at first found in type 2 diabetes, as they appeared to increase cell sensitivity to the presents of insulin. In order to use the drugs to battle cancer, the team had to remove its promotion of insulin activity which required detailed modifications to its structure.
After much observation and testing, the TZD structure was correctly modified. Dr. Benhid’s team from the Nice Institute of Chemistry is to thank, as they were able to formulate an important compound (mentioned previously as HA15). Research continues and there are hopes of many more drugs becoming available that will quickly help combat the difficult symptoms associated with cancer. The team plans to explore other avenues in which this data can be used.