The drug known as BOS172722, made by scientists at the London-based Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), could be used to treat aggressive breast cancers, a study has found.
It forces cancer cells to divide quickly, making even chemo-resistant cancers susceptible to treatment. The drug works by blocking a molecule called MPS1 which ensures cells have the correct number of chromosomes before they divide. BOS172722 causes cell division to race ahead without this process, causing cells to replicate with the wrong number of chromosomes and consequently fail. The drug worked particularly well alongside chemotherapy in treating triple negative breast cancer cells.
"Crucially, the combination is anticipated to be effective in cancer patients that have already become resistant to chemotherapy alone and has the potential to become a much-needed extra treatment option that could extend lives", Spiros Linardopoulos, professor of cancer biology and therapeutics at the ICR explained. The drug is now midway through a phase one clinical trial. Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, which helped to fund the study, said:“It’s really promising that combining this newly-discovered drug with a standard chemotherapy could, in future, provide a new way to treat triple negative breast cancer and may even prevent the disease from becoming resistant to treatment.” The study was published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.