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Cancer is a very complicated disease and no two cell cancers are similar but some generalizations of how this terrible disease progresses has been extensively studied and researched. This simple cartoon is meant to show just one pathway used by cancer cells to exploit the body's natural defensive mechanisms and reach a state of perptual immortality, allowing the cancer cells to grow, regardless of the consequences to the overall health of the host patient.
STAT 3 are cytokine transcription factors specifically of Signal Transducer and Activators of Transcription or STAT. STAT 3 is a particular activator that has been identified in a number of cancers. The following cartoon shows how STAT functions in cancer cell metabolism or what research scientists call 'cross talk'.
Testing a patient for the presence of STAT 3 in the cancer cells or circulating in the blood (cancer cells) is an important component of targeting a patient for treatment using STAT 3 inhibitors.
Why inhibit STAT 3?
STAT 3 is normally present in all human tissues but is not turned on at all times. Once inhibited, the cancer cell will progress into normal cell death or apoptosis. Since STAT 3 is essentially flowing down the cascade of cancer cell metabolism, inhibiting it at as many locations as possible could help improve a patient's survivability but the research is a long way from treating human subjects and there are many hurdles along the way. Are the compounds safe? Does a patient develop resistance? Can they be used safely in combination strategy treatments? Are the compounds commercially viable? What are the side effects?
GLG Pharma is developing a line of STAT 3 inhibitors and the corresponding diagnostic to help better treat patients with cancer. Although we are a long way off from clinical trials and drug approval, all of our early research indicates that our compounds and our diagnostic linked strategy is at this stage, the right strategy to pursue. We'll keep you informed about our progress and hopefully you'l find the additional articles and publications useful and informative.