About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Neuroblastomas Vulnerable to a New Class of Anti-Cancer Drugs

by Enozia Vakil on April 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM
Font : A-A+

 Neuroblastomas Vulnerable to a New Class of Anti-Cancer Drugs

The efficacy of new anti-cancer drugs known as BET bromodomain inhibitors may be undertood by an irregularity within neuroblastoma cells in the neuroblastoma tumor, a childhood cancer.

The findings (abstract 4622) will be discussed in a minisymposium on Tuesday, April 9, 3:50 - 4:05 p.m., ET, in Room 147, in the Washington Convention Center. The work was published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research, on Feb. 21, 2013.


In studies with laboratory samples of neuroblastoma cells and mice with the disease, the researchers found that tumors with excess copies, or "amplification," of the gene MYCN were highly sensitive to BET bromodomain inhibitors. The findings may lead to clinical trials of the drugs in patients whose neuroblastoma tumors carry this amplification.

"BET bromodomain inhibitors are a class of drugs that, many researchers hope, may offer a new therapeutic option for treating patients with certain cancers," says Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center researcher and clinician Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, who will be presenting the research. "The challenge has been identifying biomarkers that can help direct clinical translation of these drugs by pinpointing those patients with the highest likelihood of response."

Stegmaier and her colleagues screened more than 600 cancer cell lines, each with a known set of genetic abnormalities, to see which would succumb to a prototype BET bromodomain inhibitor. They found the most susceptible cells were those with a MYCN amplification.

"Neuroblastoma is a devastating childhood cancer - the most common extracranial tumor of early childhood - and only a minority of children with aggressive forms of the disease are cured with currently available treatments," Stegmaier remarks. "Although prior research has shown that MYCN amplification is common in neuroblastoma, it has been an elusive drug target."

Working with Dana-Farber's James Bradner, MD, Stegmaier found that the BET bromodomain inhibitor reduced the levels of MYCN protein in lab-grown neuroblastoma cells, resulting in impaired cell growth and induction of cell death. In studies of mice with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma - including animals with a form of the disease that doesn't respond to many standard therapies - the drug had anti-tumor effects and prolonged survival.

The research was funded in part by the V Foundation for Cancer Research; a Friends for Life Fellowship; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation; the Smith Family Foundation; Alex's Lemonade Stand; the National Institutes of Health (grants R01CA102321, P01CA081403, K08NS079485, and T32CA1510220; and the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Stegmaier is also supported by a Stand Up to Cancer Innovative Research Grant, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (SU2C-AACR-IRG0509).

Source: Newswise

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Top 10 Health Benefits of Cloves Neuroblastoma 

Recommended Reading
Targeted Therapy for Neuroblastoma on the Anvil After Detection of Genetic Glitch
A genetic glitch responsible for the development of the fatal childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, has ....
Biomarker may Identify Neuroblastomas With Sensitivity to BET Bromodomain Inhibitors: Researchers
Neuroblastoma is the most common malignant tumor of early childhood. It is frequently associated ......
New Gene Variants Increase Neuroblastoma Risk
Two gene variants developed by researchers raise the risk of neuroblastoma....
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Neuroblastoma is a very rare type of childhood cancer that develops in immature nerve cells [neurobl...
Top 10 Health Benefits of Cloves
Clove doesn’t just enhance the flavor of food, but, keeps your health in check by keeping diabetes, ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use