(July 26, 2019) OCRA grantee Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD, led a study published earlier this month in Cell Systems which found success targeting cancer cells by combining two existing classes of drugs. Dr. Yaffe and colleagues found that this combination, which targets the cancer cells’ ability to divide, dramatically increases the drug’s capacity to kill cancer cells while largely sparing healthy ones.
“I think this opens up the possibility of rapid translation of these findings in patients,” Dr. Yaffe said.
This project was facilitated by a new software program developed by the researchers, which revealed that one of the drugs in the combination significantly boosts the effect of the other drug.
“This is an exciting paper for two reasons,” said colleague David Pellman. “First, Yaffe and colleagues make an important advance for the rational design of drug therapy combinations. Second, if you like scientific mysteries, this is a riveting example of molecular sleuthing. A drug that was thought to act in one way is unmasked to work through an entirely different mechanism.”
The researchers hope a clinical trial of this combination can be started within a year or two. Read more about this exciting project and the mechanisms behind it.