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New derivatives of the antimalarial drug Pyrimethamine in the control of melanoma tumor growth: an in vitro and in vivo study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Roger Griffin, Emeritus Professor Bernard Golding



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: The antimalarial drug Pyrimethamine has been suggested to exert an antitumor activity by inducing apoptotic cell death in cancer cells, including metastatic melanoma cells. However, the dose of Pyrimethamine to be considered as an anticancer agent appears to be significantly higher than the maximum dose used as an antiprotozoal drug.Methods: Hence, a series of Pyrimethamine analogs has been synthesized and screened for their apoptosis induction in two cultured metastatic melanoma cell lines. One of these analogs, the Methylbenzoprim, was further analyzed to evaluate cell-cycle and the mechanisms of cell death. The effects of Methylbenzoprim were also analyzed in a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)-mouse xenotransplantation model.Results: Low dose of Methylbenzoprim was capable of inducing cytotoxic activity and a potent growth-inhibitory effect by arresting cell cycle in S-phase in melanoma cells. Methylbenzoprim was also detected as powerful antineoplastic agents in SCID-mouse although used at very low dose and as a single agent.Conclusions: Our screening approach led to the identification of a "low cost" newly synthesized drug (methylbenzoprim), which is able to act as an antineoplastic agent in vitro and in vivo, inhibiting melanoma tumor growth at very low concentrations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tommasino C, Gambardella L, Buoncervello M, Griffin RJ, Golding BT, Alberton M, Macchia D, Spada M, Cerbelli B, d'Amati G, Malorni W, Gabriele L, Giammarioli AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research

Year: 2016

Volume: 35

Online publication date: 06/09/2016

Acceptance date: 17/08/2016

Date deposited: 02/12/2016

ISSN (print): 1756-9966

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s13046-016-0409-9


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