….Huang had already discovered the complex marker that indicates cancer cells’ ability to transform into metastasizing “multiple-headed monsters,” as she describes them.

In the new study, co-corresponding author Huang and colleagues have found a compound that blows up the monster and significantly reduced metastasis by human prostate, pancreatic and breast cancer transplanted into mice.

Mice treated with the compound, named metarrestin, had fewer metastatic tumors in the lung and liver, and lived longer than mice that did not receive treatment.

The paper was published May 16 in Science Translational Medicine.

Metarrestin will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval as an investigational drug in the near future, with the goal of launching a clinical trial.

There currently is not a drug aimed at selectively preventing cancer metastasis.

“It’s like a dirty bomb against cancer,” said Huang, an associate professor of cell and molecular biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, describing metarrestin’s potency against metastasizing cells. “It could potentially result in a better outcome for patients with solid tumor cancers with high potential to spread to other organs. It’s promising.”

Irawati Kandela and the Developmental Therapeutics Core contributed to this research.  Full story here: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2018/may/a-dirty-bomb-battles-cancer-metastasis/ – By Marla Paul