Cancer is one of the biggest killers world wide and it’s prevalence is only set to increase due to the aging population and changes in lifestyle.
The major problem, in terms of successful treatment of cancer, is the development of chemotherapeutic resistance by the cancer cells which results in unopposed metastasis of the cancer and ultimately death of the patient. There is a need to identify the mechanisms responsible for the induction of chemotherapeutic resistance in the cancer cell, and develop therapeutics that can prevent resistance, thereby providing an effective means of killing cancer cells.
Researchers at Strathclyde have found that sphingosine kinase-1 (SK1) is present in high levels in the tumours of breast cancer patients. It has also been found to induce resistance in breast and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. Both indicate that the enzyme may have a role in the generic development of resistance in cancer cells.
Our team have synthesised inhibitors of SK1 and have also identified natural product inhibitors of the enzyme. Additional work is being done to map the allosteric sites of SK1 to inform the ongoing drug discovery programme. SK1 inhibitors also induce apoptosis of cancer cells, thereby providing an effective means to killing these cells.
· Prevent chemotherapeutic resistance of cancer cells
· Induce apoptosis of cancer cells
Markets and Applications
Applicable to the oncology market which was valued at $44 billion in 2010. Worldwide 2 million women are affected by breast cancer with approximately 0.25 million men being diagnosed with prostate and testicular cancer per year.
Contact is welcomed from organisations interested in accelerating the development of this programme