The combination...had a greater effect on the mesothelioma cells than either compound alone.
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) December 10, 2013
Surviving Mesothelioma is reporting on a promising new drug study published in Genetic and Molecular Research. The study suggests that panobinostat, an experimental drug developed by Novartis, may improve the effectiveness of cisplatin, one of the most common drugs used to treat mesothelioma.
Panobinostat works by inhibiting cellular expression of certain enzymes that help make it possible for cancer cells to grow out of control. When expression is inhibited, cells die instead of growing and spreading. Panobinostat is being tested for the treatment of several types of cancer, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
In the Turkish mesothelioma trial, scientists treated both normal cells and mesothelioma cells with a combination of 1-100 µM cisplatin and 25-1000 nM panobinostat. After 24 hours, they found that mesothelioma cells that had the treatment were less likely to survive. Further testing found that these cells failed to express critical genes. The combination of the two drugs had a greater effect on the mesothelioma cells than either compound alone.
Equally important is the finding that the healthy cells treated with the same combination did not show the same inhibited gene expression. According to the authors, this suggests that combining cisplatin with panobinostat may be a safer way to treat mesothelioma.
“Use of cisplatin in combination with new chemotherapeutic agents may reduce the toxic effects of cisplatin in normal cells and result in more effective removal of tumor cells,” the scientists conclude in Genetics and Molecular Research. Side effects from toxicity often limit how much cancer medicine a patient can take.
Typically, cisplatin is combined with pemetrexed (Alimta) to treat mesothelioma. Although this is considered a first-line treatment for this rare cancer, is it only moderately effective. Most of the 2,500 Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma each year do not live longer than 18 months from diagnosis. The new study on panobinostat appears in Genetics and Molecular Research (Gultekin, KE, “Effects of cisplatin and panobinostat on human mesothelial (met-5A) and malignant pleural mesothelioma (MSTO-211H) cells”, November 11, 2013, Genetic and Molecular Research, pp. 5405-5413. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24301913)
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