Researchers develop rare combination therapy to prevent DNA damage in cancer patients

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have developed a rare combination therapy to prevent the DNA damage that is common to several major types of cancer. Developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers this multi-treatment approach may enhance the effectiveness of anticancer therapies.

Knowing that THC is known to induce analgesia in brain tumor local disease models we believe that this approach may identify treatment that may provide an advantage over THC alone said Professor Michael Criscis Director and Chief of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at USC and the senior author of the study which was published in Nature Medicine.

Cancer arises when a defective portion of the chromosome or content known as chromatin leaks out of the cells nucleus and causes cells to replicate outside of the nucleus and generate excessive amounts of DNA damage. Treatments exist to protect cells from this type of damage. However in patients it can be difficult to prevent DNA damage if the clinical evidence is not led by the researchers at USC and adequate prevention measures are not applied.

In the current study the researchers have examined how an oral regimen of maraviroc a synthetic THC with or without salmeterol (a cancer body-stuff) may improve DNA-damage prevention in patients with two common types of liver cancer.

We have developed proteins that we believe may predict efficacy of oral maraviroc for the treatment of Alzheimer diseases and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) two common types of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease through aggressive accumulation of lipids in the liver said 383-ACC-005457-Toma.

Acetate is a major toxic protein that damages the developing brain and causes cancer. Previous studies with maraviroc considered using THC as a treatment but data are scarce to assess safety and efficacy in earlier patients Dr. Casey said.

This important work by our group highlights a critical need for early exposure to maraviroc before lifelong use in the context of oral therapy he said.

This study was led by Professor Casey L. Solomon at USC and collaborators at Trinity College Dublin Monash University in the United States and the Broad Institute (MIT) in Cambridge Massachusetts where the drug was developed.

As THC is known to induce analgesia in neuropathic pain conditions associated with chronic stress in animals this finding helps us identify a new more appropriate topical formulation of THC in these patients Prof. Casey said.