Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida have developed a small molecule that inhibits STAT3, a protein that causes cancer. This development could impact the treatment of several tumor types, including breast, lung, prostate and others that depend on STAT3 for survival.
The study appeared in the Jan. 15 online issue of Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research.
"STAT3 has been associated with poor prognosis and resistance to chemotherapy in patients with cancer,” explained Said M. Sebti, Ph.D., chair of the Drug Discovery Department at Moffitt. “Two STAT3 molecules need to bind to each other, a process called dimerization, to cause malignancy. We developed a small molecule called S3I-1757 to prevent dimerization by disrupting STAT3-STAT3 binding. Once disrupted, STAT3’s ability to help cancer cells survive, grow and invade is neutralized.”