Human cancer stem cells may be destroyed by a new drug
Researchers found out a drug called thioridazine that can kill cancer stem cells in people without toxic side-effects, which usually appear after chemotherapy and radiation.
Mick Bhatia, lead researcher of the study and scientific director of McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, said: ‘The unusual aspect of our finding is the way this human-ready drug actually kills cancer stem cells by changing them into cells that are non-cancerous.’
Besides, researchers identified another 12 drugs that also showed good results. These findings could pave the way for the development of anticancer drugs in the treatment of different types of cancer.
Now researchers are going to test thioridazine in patients with acute myeloid leukemia whose cancer has relapsed following chemotherapy. They are interested to know whether the drug can put cancer into remission and prevent it from returning by targeting the cancer stem cells.