Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and approximately 85% of all the lung cancer cases are non-small-cell lung cancer.
In previous studies done by Dr. Zheng-hao Deng and team at the Central South University in China found that fluorofenidone (FD), a new pyridine compound developed by the group, can attenuate fibrosis in the lung, kidney and liver via anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-fibrotic activities. Moreover, FD reduced the activation of Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) in fibroblast cells. It is widely known that Stat3 plays an important role in carcinogenesis by regulating genes involved in anti-apoptosis, proliferation and angiogenesis.
In their new study, the researchers investigated the ability of FD to inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells. They found that in vitro FD inhibited the growth of lung adenocarcinoma A549 and SPC-A1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. After treatment with FD, the A549 and SPC-A1 cells were arrested in the G1 phase and apoptosis was induced. In vivo this compound significantly inhibited the growth of tumours that were subcutaneously implanted in mice. Moreover, FD decreased Stat3 activity in lung cancer cells and xenograft tumour tissue, and microarray chip results showed that FD altered the gene expression profile of lung cancer cells. Specifically, NUPR1, which plays a significant role in cancer development, was down-regulated by FD in lung cancer cells.
The results from the new study indicate that FD may represent a new treatment strategy for lung cancer, but additional studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms of action of FD in cancer cells.