New Cancer Drug ZL105 Ten Times
More Effective Fighting Some Cancers:
May be ten times more effective in
treating ovarian, colon, melanoma, renal, and some breast cancers
March 26, 2014 - A game-changer
in the battle against cancer may just be a new drug called ZL105, which
researchers say can manipulate the body’s natural signalling and energy
systems, allowing the body to attack and shut down cancerous cells. They
foresee a revolution in cancer treatment that may lead to a dramatic
improvement in cancer survival rates.
Preliminary data indicate that
the novel drug may be ten times more effective in treating ovarian,
colon, melanoma, renal, and some breast cancers, according to data
obtained by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
ZL105 is a compound based on the
precious metal iridium, according to the study from the University of
Warwick, Coventry, U.K., which is published
today in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
The study has found ZL105 could
potentially replace currently used anticancer drugs, which become less
effective over time, cause a wide-range of side-effects and damage
healthy cells as well as cancerous.
Commenting on the breakthrough,
University of Warwick researcher and study co-author Dr. Isolda Romero-Canelon
said “The energy-producing machinery in cancer cells works to the limit
as it attempts to keep up with quick proliferation and invasion. This
makes cancer cells susceptible to minor changes in the cell
“Our drug pushes cancer cells
over the limit causing them to slow and shut down, whilst normal cells
can cope with its effects.”
The researchers now aim to
expand the study to cancers that are inherently resistant to existing
drugs and to those which have developed resistance after a first round
of chemotherapy treatments.
Study co-author Professor Peter
J. Sadler said “Existing cancer treatments often become less effective
after the first course, as cancer cells learn how they are being
attacked. The drug we have developed is a catalyst and is active at low
doses. It can attack cancer cells in multiple ways at the same time, so
the cancer is less able to adapt to the treatment. This means the new
drugs could be much more effective than existing treatments.”
“Platinum-based drugs are used
in nearly 50% of all chemotherapeutic regimens, exert their activity by
damaging DNA and cannot select between cancerous and non-cancerous
cells, leading to a wide-range of side-effects from renal failure to
neurotoxicity, ototoxicity, nausea and vomiting.
“In contrast, the new
iridium-based drug is specifically designed not to attack DNA, but to
have a novel mechanism of action, meaning that it could not only
dramatically slow down and halt cancer growth, but also significantly
reduce the side effects suffered by patients” argues Professor Sadler.
This research could also lead to
substantial improvements in cancer survival rates.
“Current statistics indicate
that one in every three people will develop some kind of cancer during
their life time, moreover approximately one woman dies of ovarian cancer
every two hours in the UK according to Cancer Research UK. It is clear
that a new generation of drugs is necessary to save more lives and our
research points to a highly effective way of defeating cancerous cells”
said Dr. Romero-Canelon.