Approaches to multidrug resistance reversal

Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
J Robert

Abstract

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is characterised by cross-resistance between unrelated anticancer drugs and is associated with the overexpression of a membrane bound high-molecular weight glycoprotein, named P-glycoprotein, which is able to actively expel the drugs out of the cells. In vitro, numerous compounds have demonstrated the ability to inhibit the transport activity of P-glycoprotein, resulting in enhanced intracellular drug accumulation and MDR reversal. Such compounds include drugs of current use in other therapeutic areas, such as verapamil, cyclosporin A, quinidine or tamoxifen. Clinical trials have been performed on these drugs with the aim of reversing drug-resistance, but their toxicity was often too high. Therefore pharmaceutical firms have preferred to evaluate either analogues of these drugs, or compounds specifically designed for resistance reversal. Drugs that have clearly shown a potential for sensitisation of resistant cancers with acceptable toxicity include dexverapamil one of the two enantiomers constituting verapamil, valspodar (PSC-833), an analogue of cyclosporine A, and original compounds, named VX-710 and GF-120918. Positive results have most often been obtained in haematological malignancies (myelomas,...Continue Reading

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