Reportedly, new research using a special kind of electron microscope utilizing samples cooled to exceptionally cold temperatures presents important information for drug developers looking to decrease nausea and vomiting side effects in cancer treatments. The research was published in Nature Communications. This study provides a glimpse into how broadly-used anti-nausea drugs link to their targeted protein in the gastrointestinal tract. The high-resolution images gained by this method offer key details regarding how the drugs link into a binding pocket on the protein and suggest clues into how their design can be improved.
The research was focused on a precise class of drugs utilized to manage vomiting, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome, known as setrons. Sudha Chakrapani—Associate Professor at CWRU SOM (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine)—said setrons are usually well-tolerated, but some cancer sufferers do not react to them. “Cancer patients who experience vomiting afterward in their treatment plans—or delayed emesis—are not tend to respond for setrons. There is a continuous need for superior drugs,” Chakrapani stated. The drug advancement has been held up by a lack of models demonstrating exactly how drugs such as setrons link to their objective protein in the body, the serotonin 3 receptor.
On a similar note, recently, new discoveries helped in determining who would benefit from chemotherapy. CWRU scientists and partners, together with a partner at Cleveland Clinic, are pushing the limits of how “smart” diagnostic-imaging machines recognize cancers and revealing evidence outside the tumor to tell whether a patient would react well to chemotherapy. Anant Madabhushi—Biomedical Engineering Professor—said this work, altogether, signs a more personalized future in medical diagnoses. He said, “And it is a proof that data gleaned by computational examination of the area outside the tumors on CAT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance images) scans is very valuable and can foresee response and benefit of chemotherapy in breast and lung cancer patients.”