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New Compound Could Enhance Chemotherapy

It might also reduce side effects of treatment, researchers suggest

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A new compound that could enhance chemotherapy treatments and reduce side effects has been created by Michigan State University researchers.

The compound, SP-4-84, could help make some chemotherapy drugs more effective, the researchers believe.

The found that when SP-4-84 is added to certain anti-cancer drugs, it inhibits the ability of cancer cells to survive the treatment.

Most anti-cancer drugs damage cancer cells to the point that they die. But cancer cells can survive this damage and repair themselves, which renders the anti-cancer drugs less effective. But SP-4-84 prevents cancer cells from repairing the damage caused by anti-cancer drugs.

"This may potentially mean that one could use less than one-tenth of the current drug dosage and still get the same therapeutic results -- but fewer side effects -- or use the same drug dosage which is now much more effective in its treatment," research leader Jetze Tepe, an assistant professor of chemistry, said in a prepared statement.

The research appears in the December issue of Chemistry & Biology.

This compound is in the earliest stages of development.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about chemotherapy.

SOURCE: Michigan State University, news release, Dec. 17, 2004
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