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Aust Prostate Cancer Treatment shows Prospects


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A HUSBAND and wife medical scientists team at Deakin University has made a breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment that could reduce side-effects for patients.
In a study published in the prestigious international journal Scientific Reports on Wednesday, Dr Rupinder Kanwar her husband Professor Jagat Kanwar, and two others, revealed that piggy backing the chemotherapy drug Doxorubicin (Dox) onto milk protein lactoferrin, found in cow milk, human milk and baby formula, is known to help protect the body against infection. When used in combination this could kill cancer cells without side effects.
Doctors  had stopped using Dox to treat prostate cancer because of toxicity problems to the heart, brain, and kidneys, leading to cardiac arrest.
“Prostate cancer is one of the few cancers where chemotherapy is not the primary treatment,” Dr Kanwar said.“This is because these cancer cells are able to flush out the drug and become resistant to it, and Dox alone continues to kill off the body’s normal cells resulting in a range of side effects.”

Previous work by the pair, using other types of cancers, saw the development of MRI and CT scan traceable orally administered “smart nanocapsules” that can be transported to the cancer by blood.
“This latest study builds on previous work, to target toxicity and drug resistance.
“Rather than being pumped out by the cancer cells, Dox was taken to these cells by lactoferrin through its receptors - this then stays in the nucleus of the cancer cells to perform its lethal action.”
Prof Kanwar said the tests, conducted on a breed of mice that naturally develop prostate cancer, also revealed an increase in red blood cells, white blood cells and haemoglobin, indicating a boost to the immune system.
“This combination not only targeted the prostate tumour development in mice, it also led to repair of the Dox induced damage to vital organs including heart and brain,” he said.
A bonus is that we have shown it is possible for cancer drugs to be taken orally, meaning it is possible to see a time when patients can be treated at home, rather than in hospital.”
Prof Kanwar said all cells grown in 3D cancers from drug resistant and cancer stem cells before being observed in a culture dish were dead within 96 hours.
The aim now is to conduct a trial with real patients to test the effectiveness and dosage of the drug on human cells.

News item Sunday Herald Sun Sep 1:  basic information extracted from the Geelong Advertiser



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