A combination of drugs could be used to treat skin cancer and other infections that can kill thousands of people every year, but the cost of doing so could be prohibitive for most people.
A team of scientists from the University of Arizona and the University’s School of Dermatology have developed a new therapy that uses an enzyme called ALK3A to turn cells around the body’s immune system into cancer-fighting cells, called Tumor T cells.
The team published its findings online March 25 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The ALK2A enzyme is also found in many drugs to treat infections, and scientists have been searching for a way to turn it into a drug to combat these infections.
“Tumor-killing ALK1A inhibitors, which we have developed, have been tested in patients with melanoma and other types of skin cancers,” said study leader John M. O’Neill, MD, professor of dermatology and director of the Arizona Dermatologic Laboratory.
The new drug targets an enzyme that makes it easier for cancer cells to grow and spread in the body. “
The treatment we have devised could be useful for the treatment of many conditions, including skin cancer.”
The new drug targets an enzyme that makes it easier for cancer cells to grow and spread in the body.
ALK-1A is one of the most abundant proteins found in the human body, with around 1,500 known amino acids and almost 400 known active sites.
“Our results show that the combination of ALK enzymes could be a powerful anti-cancer agent, and this could have a major impact on the fight against cancer,” O’Brien said.
“It could have wide-ranging therapeutic applications, such as treating cancer of the skin and organs, treating infections, or helping to prevent cancer metastases in people.”
O’Neil and his colleagues tested ALK 1A inhibitors against melanoma cells, and found that the drug was highly effective in treating tumors.
They also discovered that the drugs worked on both human and mouse skin.
“With ALK inhibitors, we found that cells were treated with the drug that were different from normal cells,” O”Neill said.
The drug also worked well on skin cancers from the lung, bladder, stomach, and pancreas.
This is the first time that a combination of a drug, a gene, and a single molecule has been found to completely block the growth and spread of human tumors,” O”Neill said