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Drug Molecule Has Cancer Fighting Capabilities

Hyder proved that a compound initially developed as a cholesterol-fighting molecule not only halts the progression of prostate cancer, but also can kill the cancerous cells. Image courtesy of MU Biomedical Sciences. 


Standard treatment for prostate cancer can include chemotherapy that targets receptors on cancer cells. However, drug-resistant cancer cells can emerge during chemotherapy, limiting its effectiveness as a cancer-fighting agent. Researchers at the University of Missouri have proven that a compound initially developed as a cholesterol-fighting molecule not only halts the progression of prostate cancer, but also can kill cancerous cells.

“Cholesterol is a molecule found in animal cells that serves as a structural component of cell membranes. When tumor cells grow, they synthesize more cholesterol,” said Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. “Often, cancer patients are treated with toxic chemotherapies; however, in our study, we focused on reducing the production of cholesterol in cancer cells, which could kill cancer cells and reduce the need for toxic chemotherapy.”

Currently, treatment for primary prostate cancer includes systemic exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs that target androgen receptors located in the cancer cells, which normally bind with hormones such as testosterone. Anti-hormone therapies, or chemical castration, also may be used in the fight against prostate cancer.

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Campus: Missouri S&T
Key words: Health, Innovation, MU Campus, Science,
County: Boone

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