Researchers at Mount Sinai developed a therapy that showcases efficiency in vitro at cutting off a biological pathway that helps cancer survive. The paper is available in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The therapy is a modified molecule dubbed MS21 that triggers the degradation of AKT, an enzyme that is highly active in numerous cancer forms. This research came up with evidence that the pharmaceutical decline of AKT is a possible treatment for cancers with mutations in specific genes.
A New Therapy
AKT is a cancer gene that encrypts an enzyme that’s regularly abnormally active in cancer cells to trigger tumor growth. The degradation of this gene reverses these processes and impedes tumor growth.
Ramon Parsons, MD, Ph.D., Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute and Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer Research and Chair of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said: “Our study lays a solid foundation for the clinical development of an AKT degrader for the treatment of human cancers with certain gene mutations. Examination of 44,000 human cancers identified that 19 percent of tumors have at least one of these mutations, suggesting that a large population of cancer patients could benefit from therapy with an AKT degrader such as MS21.”
Experts tested MS21 in human cancer-derived cell lines, which are patterns used in labs to research the efficacy of cancer therapies. Mount Sinai aims to develop MS21 with an industry partner so they can open clinical trials for patients.
“Translating these findings into effective cancer therapies for patients is a high priority because the mutations and the resulting cancer-driving pathways that we lay out in this study are arguably the most commonly activated pathways in human cancer, but this effort has proven to be particularly challenging,” said Jian Jin, Ph.D., Mount Sinai Professor in Therapeutics Discovery and Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery at Icahn Mount Sinai.