Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and
women and the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the
United States, suggests the National
A small molecule called TASIN-1 can selectively kill cells with a mutation that is considered to be a precursor to colon cancer, while sparing related normal cells, UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer biologists have demonstrated. The mutated cells that are killed using TASIN-1 are found in more than 80% of colon tumors. The findings could eventually help with both prevention and intervention efforts for colon cancer.
"Even though such mutations are common in colorectal cancer, there are currently not any therapeutics that directly target these types of mutations, so this represents fresh avenues to approach," said Dr. Jerry Shay, Professor of Cell Biology and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern. "Our latest finding confirms that targeting TASINs is a viable approach."
TASIN-1 specifically kills cells with the mutated/truncated APC, but spares normal and cancer cells with the standard full length APC.
"Considering the high prevalence of APC mutations in colon cancer patients, targeting truncated APC could be an effective therapeutic strategy for prevention and intervention of colorectal cancer and could potentially be used as a marker for stratifying patients in future personalized medicine clinical trials," said Dr. Shay, The Southland Financial Corporation Distinguished Chair in Geriatrics.
After demonstrating the concept worked on cells, researchers from the Shay/Wright lab and colleagues were able to confirm the results in genetically engineered mouse models that a susceptible to colon cancer as well. The research appears in Science Translational Medicine.