Michael Wendt, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Purdue University in the United States, admitted that in most cases it is impossible to destroy all cancer cells in the human body. However, a more effective method of fighting tumors is to block the development of metastases. The new approach, called lock-'n'-block, has been successfully tested in animal models. This was announced in a press release on MedicalXpress.
In experiments on mice, fostamatinib has been shown to prevent the appearance of secondary tumor foci. It inhibits a specific protein, SYK tyrosine kinase, found in metastatic cells. These cells, moving from the primary tumor to other parts of the body, go through a latency stage that lasts for many years and show a high resistance to therapy.
The researchers modified the malignant breast cells to produce the bioluminescent protein luciferase, after which they were introduced into rodents at four weeks of age. When the tumor reached a volume of 200 cubic millimeters, it was removed by surgery, then the animals were treated with fostamatinib. Luciferase allowed scientists to track the spread and activity of metastatic cells. It turned out that fostamatinib prevented their activation and prevented metastasis.
According to scientists, breast cancer is now seen as a chronic disease, not curable. Even in spite of successful disposal of the primary tumor, secondary tumor foci may appear after 10-20 years.