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Researchers find new compounds to help shrink tumors

There’s good news on the way for people with cancerous tumors: Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed novel anti-cancer drugs to treat solid tumors. The new compounds effectively reduce blood flow to tumors, thereby inhibiting their growth.

In studies on mice, the compounds inhibited tumor growth by up to 80 percent. In combination with chemotherapy, they essentially eliminated the tumors. There is currently an FDA-approved protein anti-angiogenic agent on the market, but these new tumor-targeting compounds are smaller, synthetic forms of the proteins. Because of that, they could possibly be taken in pill form and could be less costly to produce.

“This is a novel class of drugs that increases the potential for good, effective treatment for cancer patients with tumors,” says principal investigator Kevin Mayo, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics at the Medical School. The next step is an FDA-approved human clinical trial, he says.

The findings appeared in the July 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Although the compounds have proven effective in mice only against solid tumors, researchers believe they have the potential to treat liquid tumors found in leukemia and other blood cancers as well.

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