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New class of drugs may help tackle resistant cancers

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Researchers have discovered a new class of drugs that could help treat patients who no longer respond to existing therapies.

The drug may not become available to patients for a number of years yet, but researchers at London in the UK believe that if clinical trials are successful, it could be used to tackle a variety of treatment-resistant

Patients with breast for example frequently become resistant to existing hormone-based treatments, leading to the becoming fatal.

Early lab-based tests of ICEC0942 were successful in targeting resistant breast and indicated minimal side effects, according to the results published in the journal Molecular Therapeutics.

ICEC0942 was then licenced to Carrick Therapeutics, who developed it into a molecule named CT7001, which they have taken to early-stage clinical trials in less than two years.

"represent a significant threat for patients, as once a cancer stops responding to treatments there is increasingly little clinicians can do," said Charles Coombes, a at London.

"Drugs such as these could help to shift the balance back in favour of the patients, potentially providing a new option to patients for who existing treatments no longer work," said Coombes.

The drug targets an enzyme called CDK7, involved in directing cells through their life-cycle, which consists of growth, DNA replication and cell division.

CDK7 is also involved in the process of transcription, a vital step in - the creation of proteins to carry out cell functions.

Particular cancers, such as treatment-resistant breast cancers, have a unique dependence on transcription, meaning targeting CDK7 may be particularly effective.

By inhibiting transcription, ICEC0942 shuts down the ability of the cancer to spread.

As well as breast cancers, such as and are particularly transcription-dependent, so ICEC0942 may work well for these too, especially where they have become resistant to other treatments.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 15:35 IST