One way to arrest cancer is to identify a molecule that malignant cells just can't do without—and then disable it. Researchers now report success with two experimental drugs that target such a protein, which triggers rapid growth and other malignant changes in cancer cells.
In mice, one of the drugs slows multiple myeloma, a lethal bone marrow cancer, and the other limits fibrosarcoma, a tumor of fibrous tissues. The scientists report their findings in two articles in an upcoming Cancer Cell.
The researchers homed in on the protein called insulinlike growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Recent studies have linked excess IGF-1R to heightened risks of colon, prostate, breast, lung, and bladder cancers. Although IGF-1R shows up on the surface of healthy cells, it's more common on tumor cells.