Inhibition of mechanostransduction as a novel therapy in the treatment of solid tumors

Pere Roca-Cusachs Soulere


    Pere Roca-Cusachs Soulere


    IBEC, Instituto de Bioingeniería de Cataluña, Spain


    Development of a new line of cancer therapy with peptido-mimetic drugs able to block mechanotransduction.

    The interaction between cytoskeletal proteins has been shown to trigger the activation of an oncogene in response to increased tissue rigidity. Both increased rigidity and subsequent oncogene activation are prevalent features in the majority of solid tumors. Thus, inhibiting oncogene activation in response to increased stiffness has a major potential to slow, halt or even revert tumor growth in a wide variety of cancer types.

    To inhibit the interaction between cytoskeletal proteins to interfere with tumor progression. The antitumoral efficacy of peptido-mimetic drugs is going to be tested in diverse in vitro and in vivo settings in order to develop novel cancer therapies.

    Problem to Solve
    The proposed project aims to develop novel therapies for cancer treatments and to improve patient survival, overcoming current therapeutic resistance. In addition, the proposed therapy in development aims to be highly targeted and specific to minimize side effects.

    The development of peptido-mimetic drugs to specifically target mechanotransduction is a complete novel approach in cancer therapy. By inhibiting a specific interaction that only occurs in pathological and abnormal stiff tissues, the project aims to specifically block a malignant molecular event without affecting the surrounding tissue.

    Level of Innovation
    The solid tumor market is very mature and competitive, however the proposed approach has a novel mechanism of action that has not been explored in the past. The blocking of malignant responses triggered by tissue mechanics, independently of specific mutations or molecular signatures, represents an untapped approach with great potential to deliver novel and safe therapies.