26 July 2023

A compound has been created that prevents the spread of breast cancer

Researchers have synthesized a compound that blocks a protein linked to breast cancer metastasis.

An international team of researchers from the University of Liverpool and Nanjing Medical School in China have developed a compound that blocks the action of a protein that causes metastasis, potentially reducing the spread of breast cancer. The method has shown efficacy in human cell models.

The researchers studied in rat and human models of breast cancer how the S100A4 protein, which is linked to the spread of metastases, works. They found that inhibiting (suppressing) the binding of this protein to calcium prevents cancer cells from spreading.  They also analyzed compounds from the Cancer Research UK database to find those that had the desired effect.

The analysis showed that one compound, CT070909, inhibited more than 90% of S100A4 binding. The disadvantage of this compound was that it was relatively poorly soluble. To overcome this limitation, the researchers synthesized a simpler version with similar chemical properties, US-10113. Although this compound was less effective in its pure form, mixing it with thalidomide resulted in a good effect in cell models.

A major problem in the development of many cancers is not the original tumors, but metastases - secondary tumors that arise in different parts of the body, where mutated cancer cells move through the blood or lymph. The propensity of cancer cells to metastasize is linked to specific genes and proteins.

Previous studies have shown that the S100A4 protein is expressed in metastatic cancer and is associated with premature death in people with breast, bladder, pancreatic, prostate, esophageal, lung and stomach cancers. However, the analysis demonstrated that this protein is not directly linked to tumor growth, but activates pathways for cancer cells to spread through the body.
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