A two-step combination therapy, developed by researchers at the Montreal University Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), could eventually eliminate ovarian cancer cells.
"Chemotherapy usually works very well, but many patients will relapse, subway Francis Rodier, researcher at CRCHUM. It is a very dangerous cancer, women die quickly. We wanted to investigate what was happening to cells damaged by chemo. "
In a study published Tuesday morning by the journal Communications of natureThe research team, led by Rodier and her colleague Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, reports that after three years ofuppercutAs long as it has two parts.
In a first step, the "therapeutic hook" consists of forcing the cancer cells to enter a phase called cellular senescence, which causes them to "age prematurely".
"At the tumor level, it has a beneficial impact because the cells will stop proliferating and the body can take over," says Rodier.
Then, a few days later, the "uppercut treatment" is initiated by sinolysis to cause death and thus the elimination of cancerous cells.
"We're done with a combination therapy with two drugs. Drugs are not new, it's the combination that is," says the researcher.
Hypothetically, Rodier explains that this second added technique could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
"One could, for example, introduce the hook-uppercut technique in traditional cycles of chemotherapy, to eliminate cells as they are, to get rid of them simultaneously," he says.
The study was made from cells taken from the biobank of "very mature" samples from CHUM patients with ovarian cancer, as well as from pre-clinical models of ovarian cancer.
However, in these preclinical models, the immune system is absent, which means that other developments will have to be made to have a context "closer to biological reality."
While it is too soon to say whether this new technique may be the subject of clinical trials, Rodier is optimistic.
"It has been noted that drugs also attack the so-called normal cells, which in theory should also reduce side effects. It can be very beneficial to the quality of life of patients," he says.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 2,800 Canadians were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017. Of these, 1,800 died. In North America, it is the fifth leading cause of death.