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'Cellular Exploration of Childhood Cancers' by Shazia Begum

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posted on 30.06.2021, 12:02 by Shazia Begum
SPARC 2021 Poster No. 27

Rhabdoid tumour (RT) is a rare but aggressive form of cancer affecting children under the age of 1 year. These tumours typically grow in brain and kidneys. This cancer is difficult to cure and the survival is poor, only 31% of the diagnosed babies living to the age of 1 year. Although a vast range of cancer treatments already exist and developing new techniques may seem futile, the reality is that many of these treatments are not “child-friendly”.
Treatments like chemotherapy are aggressive and highly toxic to children. Chemotherapy drugs target rapidly dividing cancer cells, but also damage healthy cells in children. This can result in long-term side effects such as heart problems or brain disorders. Therefore, there is a need for less toxic treatments for children.
In this research the RT cells (called A204 cell line) were used to study their interactions with loratadine and carvacrol. Loratadine is a common anti-allergy drug and carvacrol is a compound from essential oils used in food and cosmetics. Both these drugs show anticancer properties and here they are repurposed as potential treatment for RT.
To see if the drugs would work, their cytotoxic activity was tested experimentally and computationally. Results show these drugs can kill cancer cells but not healthy cells. The drugs were able to produce a synergistic effect when used in combination, where the combined effect of the drugs was better than that produced individually. These findings suggest potential benefits repurposing of already approved drugs for treatment of childhood RT.


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