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Study suggests new application for known anti-cancer drugs


Washington: Researchers have been for many years trying to find a solution to reduce the harm to the body from cancer treatment. A recent study on the issue extended the area of application of already existing drugs and ensure patients’ protection from relapse after therapy.

Scientists at the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod and the University of Ghent (Belgium), for many years, have been engaged in research aimed to minimize the harm to the body after cancer treatment and have been looking for new approaches to treating cancer patients.

New methods are tried out in the removal of the tumour cells from the body and chemotherapy, and now, the doctors’ aim is to provide a scenario that would prevent tumour cells from proliferating and causing a new disease.

The first major results of the project was supported by Russian Science Foundation and headed by Dmitry Krys’ko, leading researcher of the Lobachevsky University’s Institute of Biology and Biomedicine, professor at Ghent University
The team of Professor Dmitry Krys’ko, research is aimed at the stimulation of immunogenic cell death, which not only minimizes the damage but also enhances the efficacy of treatment by involving the body’s resources in the fight against cancer.

“In this study, we tested some drugs for anticancer therapy based on photodynamic treatment and investigated their new immunogenic properties. We can say that not only the external impact will be used to fight cancer, but also the body itself will engage in the fight by triggering the reactions of the adaptive immune response, said Professor Krys’ko.


He added, “The concept of immunogenic cell death (ICD) includes a programmed death of cancer cells with subsequent release of molecules that give a danger signal to the immune system. We tested the drugs that are already used in cancer therapy, and enhanced the action of these agents”

At the laboratories of Lobachevsky University and the University of Ghent, researchers studied how substances accumulate in the cell, analyzed cell death types when cells were exposed to photosensitizers and revealed molecular mechanisms of the phenomena that occur to the cells in the process of their death.

The researchers have examined additional aspects of the use of existing drugs for developing new cancer protocols based on the stimulation of the immune system. Such variants of therapy reduce the risk of metastasis and enhance the effectiveness of the patient’s recovery.

In an experiment performed on laboratory mice resulted in an important conclusion that the cellular vaccine prepared from dying cancer cells protects the mouse from cancer by preventing tumour development in the body.

Based on the results obtained, the researchers published the article — Immunogenic cell death induced by a new photodynamic therapy based on Photosets and Photodithazine — in the BMC Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

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