New peptide 'could tackle ovarian cancer'

17 November 2011

A peptide that shrinks advanced tumours could provide a major breakthrough for cancer treatment, according to researchers at the University of Guelph (U of G).

Scientists in the institution's Department of Biomedical Sciences suggested that the results of a recent study of the treatment of ovarian cancer could shrink late-stage tumours and improve survival rates of the disease.

Cancer of the ovaries is the most aggressive type of gynaecological cancer with symptoms including nausea, bloating and abdominal pain. The peptide ABT-898, derived from the thrombospondin molecule, shrunk established tumours in mouse models of the infected cells during trials.

Jim Petrik, a professor in U of G's Department of Biomedical Sciences who conducted the research with PhD student Nicole Campbell, said: "This new treatment enhances the ability to deliver chemotherapy drugs inside of the tumour where they need to go. So in combination with chemotherapy, it has fantastic potential."

The findings, published in the journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, also revealed that the peptide is crucial as it does not give cancerous cells time to adapt to the treatment.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women and it causes more deaths than any other type of female reproductive form of the disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Petrik, Jim, et al., "ABT-898 Induces Tumor Regression and Prolongs Survival in a Mouse Model of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer", Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, August 2011.

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