In laboratory experiments, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have demonstrated that the cancer fighting effects of Velcade (bortezomib) and PD 0332991 were exponentially multiplied when used together in their laboratory studies on multiple myeloma tumor cells.
The normal cellular growth cycle is derailed in cancer. Uncontrolled growth and multiplication is often the result. The researchers found that PD 0332991 stops the cellular cycle in a vulnerable moment, leaving the cancer cell wide open for cellular destruction by Velcade.
The study, published online last month by the journal Blood, is the first to show that precise timing of therapies that target a cancer cell’s cycle — the life phases leading to its division and replication — disables key survival genes, resulting in cell death. The drug that delivers the weakening jab at the cell cycle is the experimental agent PD 0332991, which allows Velcade, a proteasome inhibitor already approved for use in myeloma and lymphoma, to land the final defeating blow at lower than normal doses.
Dr. Selina Chen-Kiang, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College was the lead scientist on the study. In an interview Dr. Chen-Kiang said:
“Because robust functioning of the cell cycle is crucial to cancer growth and survival, this mechanism-based strategy could theoretically be used against many kinds of cancers.”
The same combination is being tested in patients with mantle cell lymphoma in a Weill Cornell investigator-initiated study led by Dr. John Leonard. Click here for more information about the mantle cell lymphoma study.