Development of novel furano-parthenolides for human leukemia treatment
Parthenolide analogues derived from plants could be effective in treating leukemia or supplementing other treatments.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 there will be about 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States. Chemotherapy has improved, but further development is needed to improve the efficacy of this treatment, and cancers can develop multidrug resistance. Many natural sesquiterpene lactones (a class of compounds found in plants such as artichoke, chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Lettuce, and ragweed, among others) have shown to be promising antitumor agents. Some have been used in cancer clinical trials, but other members of the group could offer benefits to cancer treatment as well.
Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Yulin Ren, have a new idea for preparation of parthenolide analogues to treat leukemia or to supplement and improve outcomes in chemotherapy treatment. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone peroxide that is used in malaria treatment, but it also shows antitumor efficacy with low side effects. Parthenolide inhibits tumor resistance to chemotherapy, making the cancer more receptive to treatment. Analog compounds have been shown to induce leukemia apoptosis. The compounds produced through this invention are expected to show anti-leukemia efficacy that is superior to that of parthenolide and is expected to work in conjunction with existing anticancer drugs. These compounds could also be used as intermediates to support other scientists' research efforts.