According to a recent study, a natural derivative found in a rare Chinese tree, namely Camptothecin, presents a strong antitumor characteristic and offers a low toxicity profile.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a common form of cancer with an articularly low outcome. Even the more aggressive courses of treatment only produce about 6-8% five year survival rates. The fact that pancreatic tumors are very dense makes the delivery of cancer-fighting drugs a big challenge. This is where the work of a research team from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center comes in.
According to their press release, “a novel camptothecin analogue named FL118, which does not use TOP1 as its anticancer therapeutic target, effectively eliminated human colorectal and head/neck tumors that had become resistant to the two FDA-approved camptothecin compounds”.
During their trials, Fengzhi Li, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and senior author of the paper, noticed that FL118 “preferentially killed drug-resistant cancer cells and reduced the formation of new tumorspheres by killing cancer stem cells”. Alone, FL118 was effective at eliminating pancreatic tumors, and combined gemcitabine managed to suppress even resistant strains.
When talking about their findings, Dr. Li stated that: “Drugs that can more effectively reach and eliminate pancreatic tumors are urgently needed to treat this devastating disease”. He added that “FL118’s high anticancer efficacy, along with its favorable toxicology profile, is consistent with the fact that this drug targets several key proteins involved in pancreatic cancer progression and treatment resistance”.
There has been a recent focus in trying to find natural solutions for treating a number of serious conditions, especially cancer. These alternative compounds offer a number of advantages, most notably being safer and cleaner on the body.