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Biochemists indicate strategy to prevent cancer cells from becoming resistant to chemotherapy

Biochemists from RUDN University have outlined a strategy to prevent cancer cells from developing resistance to chemotherapy drugs.

TheTimes learns that this was achieved through an understanding of a mechanism of resistance, where they identified a drug that could slow it down.

The results of their study have been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Chemotherapy has always remained a primary method of cancer treatment, with cisplatin, a platinum-containing compound, being one of the common anticancer drugs.

It is effective against sarcomas and various malignant tumours.

However, a drawback of this treatment is the gradual development of resistance by tumour cells to this drug.

The RUDN biochemists have now outlined a method to counteract this resistance in vitro, focusing on ovarian cancer cells.

What the research indicates

The research revealed that cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells is influenced by the overexpression of certain genes. The biochemists found that quercetin, a flavonoid compound, can mitigate this effect. They proposed that treating cells with quercetin followed by cisplatin could help prevent resistance. This approach was tested on SKOV-3/CDDP cancer cells.

As the study was done, cancer cells were put in a dish and treated with a combination of two substances, and they found that the cancer cells were less likely to survive. If they first exposed the cancer cells to one substance called quercetin for two days and then added another substance called cisplatin, only about 25% of the cancer cells were still alive.

But when they didn’t use quercetin first and applied cisplatin directly, about 80% of the cancer cells survived. So, using quercetin before cisplatin makes the treatment more effective at killing cancer cells.

What they said

  • “Our in vitro data show that quercetin sensitizes cisplatin-resistant cells. To confirm that, further studies are needed with other cell lines that are resistant not only to cisplatin but also to other anticancer drugs”
  • “Future experiments will be aimed at confirming the effect of preincubation with quercetin in vivo. This will allow us to evaluate its potential for eliminating resistance to cisplatin in tumor cells,” said Elena Kalinina, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of the Department of Biochemistry, RUDN University.

 


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