Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Certain drug cocktails can more effectively fight cancer while also lessening common side effects, according to a study.
Researchers at Mount Sinai studied the combination of chemotherapy, anti-tumor antibiotics and chemical compounds at low doses, called "network break" cocktails. Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal Cancer Research.
"Our work addresses the central question faced by physicians who treat cancer patients: how do targeted therapies both promote resistance in cancer cells and evoke toxic side effects in patients?" Dr. Tirtha K. Das, assistant professor of cell, developmental and regenerative Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a news release.
The drugs normally don't provide a therapeutic benefit on their own, but together they formed a potent combination that helped prevent cancer's ability to become resistant to drugs. They accomplished this by attacking from different angles cancer's ability to grow.
These cocktails, which block enzymes that help cancer cells grow, bolster a patient's response to a separate targeted therapy drug.
Researchers tested the combo on human cancer cell lines, fruit flies and mice.
In multiple cancer types, some of these drugs can be paired together in cocktails.
"Targeted therapies have revolutionized cancer treatment by targeting fewer components within a human cell, thereby promising better efficacy and lower side effects compared to chemotherapy," Das said. "Yet clinical trials show that targeted therapies still elicit side effects, and in many cases cancer cells develop resistance mechanisms to these therapies, eventually leading to disease progression in patients."
Genetic and drug screens led to inhibitors of histone deacetylases, proteasome and the Hsp90 family of proteins that restrained cancer development.