Could synthesizing and combining anti-myeloma drugs make them more effective?

This is complicated stuff.  But apparently a group of scientists have successfully synthesized thalidomide and curcumin.  Taking things a step farther, researchers Kai Liu, Datong Zhang, Jeremy Chojnacki, Yuhong Du, Haian Fu, Steven Grant and Shijun Zhang have also been able to combine thalidomide and curcumin together, forming a compound that is exceptionally lethal to myeloma cells.  Here’s the group’s abstract: 

In our efforts to develop effective treatment agents for human multiple myeloma (MM), a series of hybrid molecules based on the structures of thalidomide (1) and curcumin (2) were designed, synthesized, and biologically characterized in human multiple myeloma MM1S, RPMI8226, U266 cells, and human lung cancer A549 cells. The biological results showed that two hybrid compounds, 5 and 7, exhibited significantly improved lethal effects towards all three human MM cell models compared to 1 or 2 alone, as well as the combination of 1 and 2. Furthermore, mechanistic studies in U266 cells demonstrated that 5 and 7 can induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cause G1/S arrest, thus leading to apoptosis and cell death. Additionally, they exhibited inhibitory effects on NFκB activation in A549 cells. Collectively, the results obtained from these hybrid compounds strongly encourage their further optimization as new leads to develop effective treatment agents for human MM.


Amazing!  This is exciting on so many levels.  Synthesizing drugs in a way that results in fewer side effects?   The possibility of combining the best attributes of several different novel therapies into one?  Finally giving curcumin a seat at the adult table?   Talk about making the most of what we already have!

If you would like to read the entire research paper, click-on the RSC Publishing link below and register.  It only takes two minutes and it’s free:

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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