Anticancer drug combination with DCA could make therapy even more effective

Published: 25 October 2016

There has been a constant growing interest among the world in dichloroacetate as a potential anticancer drug which, to many of our surprise, has none to little adverse reactions. A past study of the infamous Doctor Michelakis' found out that  the therapeutic efficiency of DCA could be increased if combined with DNA Methylation inhibitors such as Vidaza. After this statement a group of researchers performed a study which confirmed this hypothesis and concluded that dichloroacetate could be used together with anticancer treatment drugs such as Vidaza or Dacogen in order to achieve better results at lower doses while avoiding the risk of neuropathy. A lot of interesting information has been discovered related to the subject.

To begin with, the study found out that the SLC5AB structures are required for the transportation of DCA in to the tumor cells. This was especially evident in breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer cells. The research group learned that dichloroacetate enters the cells via the SMCT1 (sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporters) or, otherwise, called SLC5AB transporters (based on the Human Genome organization nomenclature). Then, the investigation has shown that DCA-induced tumor cell death requires active SLC5AB to take place. Interestingly, it was once again proven that DCA has an anticancer-specific effect because the control group which was dicholoracetate free didn't show any signs of increased apoptotic rate. However, the study did find out that DCA induces more apoptosis in cancer cells which have more SLC5AB transporters present. This gave us an idea that you could reach better antitumor treatment results if you combined drugs which induce SLCA5AB expression and DCA.

Ultimately, the study group performed a series of experiments which proved that a combination of DNA Methylation inhibitors and DCA is more likely to be an effective treatment for cancer. This may also be true because drugs like Vidaza (5'-azacytidine) and Dacogen (decitobine) prevent the increased DNA Methylation in tumor cells and thus preserve the expression of the SL5A8 transporters which are needed for DCA to have a maximal effect. In addition, this form of therapy reduces the quantity of dichloroacetate needed. This way the effectiveness of DCA in lower than toxic doses is increased and the possibility of notable detrimental side effects such as neuropathy becomes close to zero.

We are happy to hear that DCA has the potential to be a life-saving treatment which could be strengthened with the additional use of DNA Methylation inhibition drugs. The recent findings of the study provide a handful of evidence that this type of combination therapy could help more people battle cancer with less notable side effects of the treatment.

If you're interested in the study, please find out more below:
Role of SLC5A8, in the antitumor activity of dichloroacetate