London: British scientists have said that a breast cancer ‘wonder’ drug could be turned into a universal weapon against all tumours.
The finding could lead to new drugs that shrink many – or even all – types of tumour, the Newcastle University scientists said.
In addition, side effects such as nausea and tiredness should be minimal.
The excitement centres on a family of cancer drugs known as PARP inhibitors, which affect the way tumour cells repair themselves.
The drugs are of particular interest to doctors because they zero in on the tumour, and kill it without harming healthy cells.
“Blocking Cdk1 compromises DNA repair in cancer cells, making them sensitive to PARP inhibitors,” the Daily Mail quoted researcher Professor Nicola Curtin as saying.
“We were also able to show that this approach only targeted cancer cells.
“Now we need to develop an effective drug that can block Cdk1, so more patients can benefit from treatment with PARP inhibitors. It could be widely applicable, possibly universally.
“The very fact that the defect that makes cells vulnerable to PARP inhibitors can be recreated in lung cancer is pretty hopeful.
“It is very early days but it is exciting,” added Curtin.
The study is detailed in Nature Medicine.