Researchers say their discovery of a new compound known as SP-4-84 could improve chemotherapy when use in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin and camptothecin .
Study results showed over 48 hours, small amounts of SP-4-84 made camptothecin 75-times more effective. The compound sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapeutics by blocking the cancer cell's ability to survive the damage caused by chemotherapeutic drugs. However, this was only true for cancerous cells , when the same compound was used on non-cancerous cells, there was no effect.
Researchers say, one could use less than one-tenth of the current drug dosage and still get the same therapeutic results with fewer side effects or use the same drug dosage, which is now much more effective in its treatment.
Most anti-cancer drugs work by causing cell damage, which ultimately kills the cancer cells. However, cancer cells are also prone to repair themselves and survive the damage from drugs, which lowers the drugs' effectiveness. Thus researchers conclude saying that much more work needs to be done to evaluate the potential of this compound for its ability to improve conventional therapeutic treatment.