A new study has shown that an experimental class of cancer drugs has wider potential than previously thought. BET inhibitors are currently being tested against blood cancers, but now researchers have found a new version of this drug that, in mouse tests, can target solid tumors too.
While they haven’t found wide use yet, BET (Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal) inhibitors are emerging as an effective treatment against cancers like leukemia and multiple myeloma. The problem is, so far they haven’t worked well against solid tumors, and they tend to have bad side effects, such as fatigue, nausea and reduced blood platelet counts.
In the current study, researchers from Yale discovered and described a new BET inhibitor that improves on both of those problems. In animal tests the new drug, named NHWD-870, was found to be between three and 50 times more effective against cancer than other BET inhibitors. Better yet, it worked against a range of solid tumors, including ovarian cancer, breast cancer, small cell lung cancer, lymphoma and melanoma.