There has been a constantly growing international interest in dichloroacetate as a potential new anticancer drug, which unlike traditional chemotherapy drugs causes little to no adverse reactions. A previously done study by the infamous Dr. E. Michelakis revealed that the therapeutic efficiency of DCA could be increased when combined with DNA Methylation inhibitors such as Vidaza (Azacitidine).
After this speculation a group of researchers performed a study, which confirmed this hypothesis and concluded that dichloroacetate could be used together with other anticancer treatment drugs such as Vidaza or Dacogen in order to achieve better results at lower concentrations. The study also discovered a lot of other interesting key points related to the subject.
To begin with, the study found out that the SLC5AB structures are required for the transportation of DCA into the tumor cells. This was especially evident in breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer cells.
The research group revealed that dichloroacetate enters the cells via the SMCT1 (sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporters) or the SLC5AB transporters (based on the Human Genome organization‘s nomenclature). This is really important since now we can learn which kind of drugs go well with dichloroacetate. In addition, we can also understand which substances can block us from achieving the desired effect of DCA.
Subsequently the investigation has shown that Sodium dichloroacetate induced tumor cell death requires active SLC5AB to take place. If the cells have altered DCA transporters, the therapeutic effect declines. On the other hand, the study did demonstrate that DCA induces higher apoptosis rates in cancer cells, which are abundant with SLC5AB transporters. This gave us an idea that you could achieve better antitumor treatment results if you combined regiments, which stimulate SLCA5AB expression and have DCA in them.
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 as well as the structure of the SL5A8 transporters. In addition, this form of combination therapy reduces the quantity of dichloroacetate needed.
This way Sodium dichloroacetate displays stronger anti-tumor effects and can be taken for years because the possibility of any side effects such as neuropathy becomes close to zero.
We are happy to hear that DCA has the potential of being a life-saving treatment that could be strengthened with 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 in the future.
If you’re interested in the study, please find out more below:
Role of SLC5A8, a plasma membrane transporter and a tumor suppressor