PACMA could beat female cancer

A new drug for ovarian cancer could cut the number of doses needed for a chemotherapy regimen as well as potentially reducing the effects of drug resistance. The new class of cytotoxic agents, PACMA, emerged from screening of a 10,000 compound library by University of Southern California researchers. Currently, there are two types of drug to treat ovarian cancer, paclitaxel which inhibits microtubule disassembly and so blocks cell division and carboplatin which creates DNA crosslinks to kill cancer cells. PACMA31 irreversibly inhibits protein disulfide isomerase an enzyme that is over-expressed by ovarian cancer cells. The drug needs much pre-clinical testing before it can be trialed in women with the disease. However, its novel mode of action and lack of obvious toxicity in preliminary tests bodes well for the development of a new and effective cancer therapy.