The successful treatment of human cancer depends on the ability to find treatments that kill tumor cells without impacting normal tissue significantly. An alternative approach is to selectively protect normal tissue from the toxic effects of chemotherapy while leaving the tumor cells vulnerable. Perscitus Biosciences, LLC has successfully synthesized a compound that we hypothesize will increase the protective molecule glutathione in normal tissue but not tumor tissue. Glutathione is known to protect against reactive oxygen species including those generated during the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy. In this project, we will examine the ability of the compound to selectively increase glutathione levels in normal tissue - and not tumor tissue - to protect against chemotherapy- induced toxicity. Analytic methods will be developed in conjunction with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Pharmacoanalytic Laboratory to allow us to measure the different metabolic steps that this compound must undergo to generate glutathione. If successful, this compound could significantly decrease much of the toxicity seen with common chemotherapy treatments of cancer. Importantly, protection of the normal tissue will allow escalation of the doses used in cancer treatment, potentially improving the ability to treat cancer effectively.
Over 500,000 people die from cancer in the U.S. each year. To improve the treatment of cancer, treatment regimens are needed with improved tolerability and effectiveness. The compound presented in this project has the potential to both decrease the side effects associated with cancer treatment as well as improve the anti-cancer effect.