According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally with about 1 in 6 deaths due to cancer. Each year, approximately 300,000 children alone are diagnosed with cancer. However, there is hope, as with access to quality treatment, more than 80% of children with cancer can survive, living full and healthy lives. It is this that drives Al Jalila Foundation to invest in groundbreaking cancer research.
Novel targeted therapeutic agents are desperately needed and our highly respected research grant recipient, Professor Thomas E Adrian from Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is doing just that by conducting a cancer research study to discover ‘novel drug combinations to treat cancer’.
The study is looking at frondoside A which is a glycoside that blocks growth and inhibits the invasion of cancers into other tissues, which is what makes cancers deadly. Recent work has shown that cancers arise in cancer stem cells and that eradication of these stem cells is essential to cure the cancer. Findings have revealed that when treating leukemias or pancreatic cancers with frondoside A, it stimulates a stem-cell pathway (NF-kB pathway) that these stem cells use for survival.
When combining an inhibitor of the NF-kB pathway drug (andrographolide) together with frondoside A the effects were found to be dramatically better than either drug alone at killing all the cells including the cancer stem cells.
To learn more about this and other Al Jalila Foundation research please click here.