Kidney cancer accounts for 2% to 3% of cancers worldwide and the rate has increased 2% per year in the United States for the last several decades. Although the 5-year survival rate is 96% for patients with stage I, it is only 23% for those with advanced disease.Unfortunately, current therapeutic options are extremely limited and disappointing. In the last seven years, at least 6 new drugs including Sorafenib have been approved for the treatment of this cancer and many more are in clinical trials.Sorafenib, sunitinib, pazopanib and bevacizumab target the VEGF pathway, and temsirolimus and everolimus inhibit the mTOR pathway.With an ever-increasing number of the treatment options, this cancer becomes resistant to all approaches.Therefore, effective therapy for this deadly disease is urgently needed.
Recently, the group of Dr. Inamul Haque, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center, USA have characterized Englerin A (Eng A), a molecule of herb (Phyllanthusengleri) extracts and found that this molecule has anticancer properties in kidney cancer.
Dr. Haque, who earned a doctoral degree from Jamia Millia Islamia said, “We are interested to examine whether Eng A is able to enhance the efficacy of Sorafenib and help in overcoming the limitations of this approved drug.”
Moreover, his preliminary studies found Eng A inhibits angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation). With this in mind Dr. Haquehypothesize that combination therapy of Eng A and angiogenic inhibitors may overcome the limitations of angiogenic inhibitors.For this research, Dr. Haque received a Basic Research Development Award by the University of Kansas Medical Center. The university has provided $35,000 for the research work. The funding is renewable if the results are found to be successful.In this proposal, first,they will determine the potential impact of Eng A on the growth and apoptosis of different renal cancer cell lines alone or in combination of Sorafenib. Second,they will evaluate the impact of Eng A alone or in combination of Sorafenib on cell cycle regulator proteins and cell-fate (i.e., apoptosis) regulatory proteins. Third,they will determine the effect of Eng A on different angiogenic factors-induced angiogenesis under tissue culture conditions. Finally,they will test their working hypothesis that combined Sorafenib/Eng A treatment may show greater inhibition of tumor growth, tumor angiogenesis and may overcome escape mechanism and drug resistance seen with single Sorafenib treatment.
Dr. Haque concluded, “The successful completion of these studies may open new avenues for in depth bench-to-bedside research in order to identify potential novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of kidney cancer.”
A native of Supaul Bazaar, Biraul, Darbhanga, Bihar, Dr. Haque, passed matriculation from Onkar High school, Biraul in 1988. He completed his intermediate of science from C. M. Science College, Darbhanga. Dr. Haque moved to Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi and studied there for about 14 years(Bachelor, Masters, B.Ed and PhD). ). After earning his PhD from this University under the supervision of Professor Faizan Ahmad, went to the USA in 2006 for postdoctoral training at University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, USA. Later, he was promoted to Assistant Professor in the same university. For the last about ten years, he had been involved in the area of new drug discovery and development of new therapies to treat breast, pancreatic and kidney cancer.