New anthracycline analogues to overcome multidrug resistance

Analogues therapy to overcome multi-drug resistance in cancer cells

The Need

Daunorubicin is the standard anthracycline agent, a class of anti-tumor compounds used widely in the treatment of a variety of cancers. As multiple drug resistance and toxicity are serious clinical problems associated with daunorubicin, researchers have focused on improving this common chemotherapeutic agent in recent years. Traditional strategies to overcome drug resistance to antracycline involve administering a combination therapy. However, this method is not ideal, as the risk of toxicity increases with a multi-agent therapy. If properly balanced, daunorubicin derivatives have the potential to overcome drug resistance and enhance chemotherapy efficacy while minimizing harmful side effects.

The Technology

The Ohio State University researchers have developed potent anti-tumor compounds by structurally modifying daunorubicin. The cytoxicities of this novel class of disaccharide analogues was examined in drug-sensitive leukemia cells K562 and doxorubicin-resistant K562/Dox cells by MTS assay. Cell cultures were also subjected to multiple tests including real time PCR analysis, Western blot analysis, drug resistance assays, FACS Flow Cytometry, and cell incubation assays. In drug-sensitive cells, many of the compounds were found to be active against leukemia cells. These novel compounds represent a promising method for further chemical modifications of daunorubicin to overcome drug resistant cancers without toxic side effects.

Commercial Applications

  • Multi-drug therapeutics
  • Oncology research


  • Avoids resistance due to the efflux of drugs in cancer cells
  • Avoids toxicity by avoiding the need for combination therapy

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