Dr Neil Cross from Sheffield Hallam University led a recent study funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust, to investigate how substances that retain anti-tumour agents in the cancer cells, enhance their activity and could reduce the development of resistance.

Key findings of this research

TRAIL is a promising anti-tumour protein; however, its usefulness has been hampered by the development of resistance.

The Sheffield researchers have demonstrated that combination of TRAIL with a nuclear export inhibitor named Leptomycin B increases the cell death of osteosarcoma cells.

A second finding from this research is that a type of osteosarcoma cells that are particularly aggressive and drug resistant were affected by the TRAIL and Leptomycin B combination.

Why is this research important?

The results indicate that novel agents that operate in a similar way to Leptomycin B known as “selective inhibitors of nuclear export” (SINEs), should be further investigated, as they have the potential to be used in combination with TRIAL, to increase its efficacy and reduce resistance in osteosarcoma.