|Home > Blogs|
Stand Up For Science
Post details: A promising start for new prostate cancer drug
05:16:31 pm, by Tom, 433 words, 842 views
A promising start for new prostate cancer drug
On the morning after the Home Office released the statistics for animal use in medical research for 2007 I looked through the broadsheets to see what they had to say about them. As it happens the papers had very little, in some cases nothing, to say about the figures,just a few short reports in a couple of papers describing the key numbers and the predictable outrage of the anti-vivisectionists. What all the papers do seem excited about is the news that a new drug designed to combat prostate cancer has performed well in early clinical trials.
Though it's perhaps a little soon to pop open the champagne bottles the papers are right to welcome this development, aggressive prostate cancer is responsible for about 12% of all male cancer related deaths and current treatments are of limited effectiveness. Abiraterone, developed by the London based Institute of Cancer Research and Cougar Biotechnology, may be a great advance over current treatments for aggressive metastatic prostate cancer. It works by blocking the activity of an enzyme called CYP450c17 that is required for the body to make the hormone testosterone, and since prostate cancer cells require testosterone to grow blocking testosterone production can slow or even stop the cancer from growing and spreading.
During the development of abiraterone animal research played a vital role alongside equally crucial in vitro studies. Development of the drug began when studies undertaken in rats identified esters of 4-pyridylacetic acid as inhibitors of the hydroxylase and lyase activities of CYP450c17. These were the lead compounds that lead directly development of abiraterone (1). Subsequently the ability of different derivatives of these lead compounds to specifically block the activity of human CYP450c17 was assessed in vitro, and their ability to resist breakdown and deliver the active drug to where it was needed was assessed in rodents (2). On the basis of these studies, and subsequent testing of the most promising candidate drugs for toxic side effects in rodents, abiraterone was selected for human clinical trials, where it has had the promising results reported today.
1) McCague R et al. "Inhibition of enzymes of estrogen and androgen biosynthesis by esters of 4-pyridylacetic acid." J. Med Chem. Volume 33(11), Pages 3050-3055 (1990).
Stand Up For Science
XML FeedsWhat is RSS?
|Home | About | Facts | Blogs | Action | Get Involved | Contact | Links | Donate | Site Map||Pro-Test 2006 (some rights reserved)|