March 22, 2017

Blocking neuroblastoma cell growth

An inhibitor of cell metabolism may be a good therapeutic target for neuroblastoma, which accounts for about 15 percent of pediatric cancer-related deaths.

Neuroblastoma – a cancer that starts in nerve tissue outside of the brain – is the third most common cancer in children and accounts for about 15 percent of pediatric cancer-related deaths.

MYC proteins drive neuroblastoma tumorigenesis in part by promoting the expression of key glycolytic enzymes such as LDHA to induce aerobic glycolysis (a type of cellular metabolism).

Dai Chung, M.D., and colleagues tested the effects of FX11, a selective inhibitor of LDHA, in a series of neuroblastoma cell lines. They found that FX11 inhibited aerobic glycolysis and growth in neuroblastoma cell lines with single-copy and amplified MYC genes. FX11 caused cell cycle arrest and induction of programmed cell death in the neuroblastoma cell lines.

The findings, reported in the March issue of Surgery, demonstrate that LDHA is a potential target for the development of novel neuroblastoma treatments and suggest that LDHA antagonists should be further tested in preclinical neuroblastoma models.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant DK061470), The American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship and the Rally Foundation for Cancer Research.

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