Mitochondrial “Smart Bombs” (Selective Mitochondrial Chemotherapy)
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, where energy is generated, stored and released. It has long been known that one specific mitochondrial enzyme is restricted to brain cells and is very highly expressed in glioma: monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). Scientists at the Peak Center have developed a drug that is transformed by MAO-B into a form that is selectively imported into the mitochondria. Once inside the mitochondria, the drug attacks the small mitochondrial genome, damages the mitochondrial DNA, disrupts power generation, and causes the mitochondria to generate harmful free radicals. The result is that glioma cells lose their major power source and the cancer cells die.
Hear Dr. David Baskin, director of the Houston Methodist Peak Brain & Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center, describe this active research in delivering targeted chemotherapy directly to cancer cells, while also destroying the cell’s powerhouse, the mitochondria, to prevent the tumor cells from adapting and regenerating.