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Compound found effective in fighting blood cancer: study
Last Updated: 2017-12-21 10:46 | Xinhua
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A pathbreaking series of compounds designed and synthesized at Northwestern's Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery (CMIDD) has been shown to starve multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer, of its favorite food, glucose, according to a recent study.

According to the study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, tumor cells, including those of the largely fatal plasma cell malignancy multiple myeloma, thrive on glucose. In this cancer, the tumor co-opts the GLUT4 protein, a vital glucose transporter, for its own proliferation and survival.

After synthesizing new compounds, CMIDD, a multidisciplinary center with more than 50 Northwestern faculty, tested them in different biological assays to determine the compound's ability to antagonize the GLUT4 glucose transporter.

In a series of biological studies using patient samples of multiple myeloma, the CMIDD-designed compounds antagonized the transporter, helping to starve the cancer cells to death.

In coming months, the inter-institutional research group will improve the compound's potency and eventually evaluate its pharmacogenetics.

"Inhibiting a glucose transporter would be a new strategy for attacking multiple myeloma," said Gary Schiltz, CMIDD deputy director. "We've also determined that the new compound can work in concert with existing therapies, making the path forward a bit easier and promising."

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