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Derivates of quinolones for cancer treatment

New derivatives of quinolones suitable for cancer treatment have been developed. The compounds are promising as they could offer a new pharmacological option when drug resistance appears.


Structure of one of the new derivates of quinolones. Image: CSIC.Scientits at the CSIC’s Instituto de Química Orgánica General and at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid have obtained new derivatives of quinolones suitable for cancer treatment. In vitro experiments have shown that the new compounds have a high anti-cancerigen activity, being in some cases even more effective than conventional drugs. Although these are preliminary results, the compounds are promising as they could offer a new pharmacological option when drug resistance appears.

Cancer is one of the main causes of mortality in developed countries. Due to its high impact and its diversity, development of new drugs is of great interest.
 
The most commonly used anti-cancer drugs are the ones based on taxanes and cis-platinum.  Unfortunately, some tumours, such as colon carcinoma, develop drug resistance. That’s why it is useful to have more options available for treatments when resistance appears.
 
Another problem is the financial one. Many of these current drugs are either obtained from expensive substances or have complex structures, which difficult their production. On the contrary, these new derivatives of quinolones are made through a simple synthesis process. Also, they are obtained from commercial and not-expensive molecules, therefore their production shouldn’t be a financial problem.

Scientists at CSIC and at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid have prepared these new compounds from a new quinolones family. These molecules have, as scientist point out, a different structure than quinolones used as antibiotics, which means that they are not the well known antibiotics.  

In vitro experiments have shown that the new derivatives inhibit the cancer cell growth in three cancer lines (leukaemia, sarcoma and breast cancer) and as effective as cis-platinum. In the case of colon cancer, experiments have shown that new molecules are even more effective than cis-platinum (from 2 to 7 times more).

This research has been developed with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Now, scientists are looking for industrial partners interested in the project to keep on with the development.

Contact:

Xavier Ginesta Buch
Instituto de Química Orgánica General
Dept. Commercialization
Tel.: (+34) 91 562 29 00 Ext 485
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