Research released in early September 2015 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas indicates that new drug-like compounds may increase the odd of survival for men battling prostate cancers. These compounds were discovered through computer–generated models and can be developed into medicines in the future given their inherently low toxicity to non-cancerous cells. They appear to target a specific human protein known as P-gp, which is responsible for drug resistance to many of the most common medications for treating HIV/AIDS and cancer. If used as supplementary treatments for prostate cancer and in conjunction with chemotherapy, they could improve patient survival rates considerably.
Improving Individual Responses To Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer
There are currently no drugs on the market that are capable of reversing resistance to chemotherapy caused by the P-gp cells. One drug that may have the potential to accomplish this is Tariquidar. Tariquidar is currently undergoing clinical trials, however, it is important to note that many other similar drugs have failed during this portion of the testing stage. The discovery of these three new, drug-like compounds is positive given that it sets the stage for future effort to enhance the physical response to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
The Discovery Of New Drugs Is Expedited Via Computer-Generated Models
The need for effective treatments for prostate cancer is immense. Marked increases in prostate cancer deaths are largely attributed to less frequent testing and larger demographics of people who never receive prostate exams at all. In reality, however, high mortality rates can also be attributed to insufficient treatment methods. When chemotherapy for prostate cancer is successful in spite of intervention from the P-gp cell, the cancer still has a much higher likelihood of returning, given that the cancer essentially learns how to take advantage of this natural response to treatment. When prostate cancer returns after an initial, successful treatment, the prognoses becomes increasingly bleak. The ability to use these drug-like compounds to prevent P-gp cell intervention would radically alter the success rates for initial chemotherapy treatments and could significantly reduce relapse rates for prostate cancer overall.
Unfortunately, the timeline from potential drug discovery to clinical trials and beyond often takes ten years or longer. These three drug-like compounds are certainly promising nonetheless. Researchers are not only impressed by their ability to suppress intervention to chemotherapy treatment but also by the fact that these compounds do not appear to be harmful to non-cancerous cells. This significantly improves the benefits versus the risks of these potential, supplementary treatments for prostate cancer.