Health Desk: 7th Oct’18: An existing antibiotic may selectively kill dangerous cells within melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, a study claims.
The research found the drug, called nifuroxazide, showed promise for complementing existing melanoma therapies.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK tested the drug's effect on melanoma cells in mice and samples from human tumours. They caution more research is needed to determine if it will be effective in people.
Within a single tumour there can be variation in the properties of the cells, with some more dangerous than others, in terms of their potential to support growth or become resistant to drug treatment. Many of the more dangerous cells in melanoma tumours produce a lot of an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1).
Current research into therapies has focused on blocking ALDH1, but in this study the researchers went a step further and aimed to selectively kill cells producing high ALDH1.
The study was published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.