Veratridine targets colon cancer cells
A high-throughput drug screen followed by biochemical analysis showed Veratridine (VTD), a non-steroidal alkaloid derived from the Liliaceae plant, induces a potent anti-growth and pro-apoptotic effects in colon cancer cells. More importantly, normal cells mostly remain intact in the presence of VTD. Anti-cancer function of VTD have been verified in animal model of CRC with no evidence of neurotoxicity. The next step for this drug development project is to work with a biotech or pharmaceutical company to invest for screen test, drug development and initial clinical trial.
Despite current treatment regimens, one third of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) will ultimately die from metastatic (disseminated) disease. The five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with a primary cancer site while that cancer is still in its earliest stage is 91 percent. However, the survival rate for patients with metastatic disease reduces dramatically to less than 12 percent. CRC is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in the United States annually. There is a clear need for developing safer and more effective targeted therapies that can significantly decrease the mortality rates associated with human colorectal cancer.
Natural alkaloids as anticancer agents are promising, and have already served as a rich reservoir for drug discovery. These chemical compounds offer anti-proliferation and anti-metastasis effects on various types of cancers. Some of these alkaloids have already been developed into anticancer drugs, such as camptothecin and vinblastine.