It is highly effective against cancer stem cells, has few side effects, and does not cause cancer to recur.A new nano-therapeutic drug effective for intractable cancer (malignant mesothelioma) caused by asbestos exposure was developed by a team of Associate Professor Kazunori Kataoka and Senior Researcher Hiroaki Kino of the Department of Bioengenialing, University of Tokyo. ..

 Intractable cancer caused by asbestos exposure is ineffective with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and is a highly malignant cancer that can be fatal within a year.Recent studies have shown that a small number of cells in cancer stem cells cause the cancer to come back.However, even if existing anticancer drugs reach cancer cells, they have no effect on cancer stem cells and cannot prevent recurrence and metastasis.Therefore, the development of a new therapeutic agent has been awaited.

 This study confirms that staurosporine is effective against cancer stem cells of intractable cancers.Staurosporine is an antibiotic isolated from actinomycetes in 2015 by Professor Satoshi Omura (who won the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine).Based on this discovery, a new nano-therapeutic drug was developed in which staurosporine was simultaneously encapsulated with epirubicin micelle, which was an existing anticancer drug, and directly delivered to cancer stem cells.

 When this therapeutic agent was administered intravenously to model mice with intractable cancer, it was shown to target and kill cancer stem cells.Side effects were alleviated, and no recurrence of cancer was observed for 9 months after the drug was withdrawn.It has been proven to have a dramatic effect compared to existing anticancer drugs.

 Based on the results of this research, it is expected that a therapeutic drug for intractable cancer caused by asbestos exposure will be provided as soon as possible.Furthermore, it is being confirmed whether it is effective for other cancers.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

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