Integrating two experimental anticancer peptide agents might block the formation of tumor growth, says a study.
This early test of the two agents in a breast cancer model suggests that the double hit can stifle tumor progression, avoid drug resistance and cause few side effects, said researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, who developed the agents and evaluated their effectiveness in laboratory and animal tests.
The scientists designed one of the agents to prevent human epithelial growth factor from interacting with HER-2, a molecule that marks a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. The other inhibitor blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels that tumours need to grow beyond a certain size.
One presents the development of a novel VEGF inhibitor; the other describes the HER-2 inhibitor and the preclinical testing of the two agents together.
"When we combined our peptide HER-2 inhibitor with the VEGF peptide that inhibits angiogenesis, we observed significant additive benefits in reducing tumor burdens in preclinical studies," said principal investigator Pravin Kaumaya, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, of molecular and cellular biochemistry, and of microbiology.
The findings have been published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.