Researchers successfully block 'siren call' of aggressive cancers

Researchers from Georgia have successfully stifled the production of a chemical sent by aggressive cancers to bone marrow allowing them to thrive in the body.

The inhibitor HET0016 controlled the growth and spread of the aggressive cancers glioblastomas and metastatic breast cancer in laboratory models by limiting the chemical 20-HETE, which is responsible for sending out a “siren call” to bone marrow, according to the study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

“Our idea is that the most aggressive tumors have the same basic mechanisms of growth and spread,” says Ali S. Arbab, MD, professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, in an press release. “We have good evidence that blocking 20-HETE production is a good way to inhibit that growth.”

The human body creates 20-HETE to perform essential functions such as regulate blood pressure and blood flow, but tumors over express this fluid which eventually becomes a “siren call” our bone marrow, said B.R. Achyut, MD, and cancer biologist in the Medical College of Georgia.

Scientists used the inhibitor HET0016 along with chemotherapy to reduce the effects of too much 20-HETE. They gave the drug alternately with a chemotherapy drug to rodents for three to six weeks. They found rats with glioblastoma survived for at least six months, instead of the expected few weeks.