Dualing Against Kidney and Breast Cancer

Kidney cancer and breast cancer respond to dual therapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A lot is being done these days with combining medications, or changing the order in which they're taken. A new dual approach appears to be effective against deadly dual cancers. And the findings may apply to a number of cancers.

Researchers discovered two drugs that work together to wake up a gene that kills tumor cells in triple negative breast cancer and clear cell renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer).

"Ask if a combination of drugs is best."

Scientists at Mayo Clinic in Florida found that two drugs - Istodax (romidepsin) and Dacogen (decitabine) - allow the gene to release a protein called SFRP1 which halted growth in laboratory tumor cells and killed them.

So SFRP1 (secreted frizzled-related protein) is a powerful aid in the annihilation of cancer cells. The protein is disabled in a number of cancers, including colon, ovarian, lung, liver and other solid tumors.

"We now have the basis for a clinical trial aimed at providing effective therapy for two drug-resistant cancers and perhaps many more tumor types in the future," said senior investigator, John Copland, PhD, a Mayo Clinic molecular biologist.

These two cancers currently affect about 80,000 Americans every year. Few therapies are effective for advanced stages of kidney disease and triple-negative breast cancer, which has no hormone receptors that current therapies can target and kill.

Both drugs are approved by the US Food & Drug Administration. Istodax treats T-cell lymphoma and Dacogen is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, both diseases of the blood and bone marrow.

"Individually, each drug did not induce any form of cell death but, together, they killed all of the different cell lines of kidney and triple negative breast cancer that we tested in the laboratory," said lead investigator Simon Cooper, PhD, a Mayo Clinic molecular biologist who specializes in kidney cancer.

This preclinical study was published in the July issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Funding information and financial disclosures were not publicly available.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 2, 2012
Last Updated:
September 6, 2012