Cancer is a highly complex disease in which the tumor recruits its surrounding tissue, as well as the immune system, to support and promote its own growth. This explains why tumor therapy has been difficult for physicians. Researchers now realize that, not only does the tumor need to be targeted, but also its microenvironment and the immune system, which are both subverted by the tumor to support its growth. Two studies published recently in Oncogene focus on new potential-drug-treatment research through a careful study of, and link between, colorectal cancer (CRC) and melanoma. In one article, published online on September 14, 2015, long-time cancer researcher Alexander Levitzki (photo), Ph.D., Wolfson Family Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his senior colleagues, Efrat Flashner-Abramson, Ph.D., and Hadas Reuveni, Ph.D., together with additional colleagues, described a small organic molecule known as NT157 and its action against metastatic human melanoma. Professor Levitzki and his team showed that NT157 acts as a dual-targeting agent that blocks two different signal transduction pathways that are central to the development and maintenance of multiple human cancers. They showed that NT157 targets, not only the IGF1R-IRS1/2 signaling pathway, as previously reported, but also the Stat3 signaling pathway, and that the compound demonstrates remarkable anti-cancer characteristics in A375 human melanoma cells and in a metastatic melanoma model in mice.
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