Novel Molecule Combined with Radiation Therapy Killed Many More Prostate Cancer Cells in Mice

Novel Molecule Combined with Radiation Therapy Killed Many More Prostate Cancer Cells in Mice
Researchers have identified a therapeutic target called DDX3       whose inhibition not only prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells, it also increases their sensitivity to radiation therapy, both in culture and in animal models. The study, "RK-33 radiosensitizes prostate cancer cells by blocking the RNA helicase DDX3," published in Cancer Research, suggests that combining the novel DDX3 inhibitor RK-33 with radiation therapy may be a viable option to treat locally advanced prostate cancer. Conventional treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or active surveillance. Radiation therapy has been used effectively as a first-line treatment for locally advanced prostate cancer, but patients often develop resistance to radiation over time. Therefore, additional drugs that make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and that allow reduced radiation doses and radiation-induced side effects are urgently needed. Looking for a means to reduce the side effects associated with high doses of radiation, Venu Raman, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, worked together with Phuoc Tran, MD, PhD, also a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center. They had previously found that DDX3 was highly expressed in a number of cancers, including breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate cancer, with higher levels of this protein corresponding to more aggressive cancers. Inhibiting this protein with RK-33, a molecule
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Inês Martins holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and is currently finishing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de Lisboa. Her work has been focused on blood vessels and their role in both hematopoiesis and cancer development.

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