When it comes to killing cancer cells, two drugs are often better than one.
When it comes to killing cancer cells, two drugs are often better than one. Some drug combinations offer a one-two punch that kills cells more effectively, requires lower doses of each drug, and can help to prevent drug resistance.
MIT biologists have now found that by combining two existing classes of drugs, both of which target cancer cells’ ability to divide, they can dramatically boost the drugs’ killing power. This drug combination also appears to largely spare normal cells, because cancer cells divide differently than healthy cells, the researchers say. They hope a clinical trial of this combination can be started within a year or two.
“This is a combination of one class of drugs that a lot of people are already using, with another type of drug that multiple companies have been developing,” says Michael Yaffe, a David H. Koch Professor of Science and the director of the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine. “I think this opens up the possibility of rapid translation of these findings in patients.”
Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Image: Top: A cell undergoing normal cell division (mitosis). Bottom row: Defects in the mitotic spindle produced by two drugs that interfere with cancer cell division. These defects can lead to cell death. Images courtesy of the researchers