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Mini Review - (2023) Volume 12, Issue 3

A Method for Preclinical Research that Isolates and Analyses Drugs from Cancer Cells

Sand Born*
*Correspondence: Sand Born, Department of Drug Technology, University of Africa, Zimbabwe, Email:
Department of Drug Technology, University of Africa, Zimbabwe

Received: 02-May-2023, Manuscript No. IJDRT-23-106032; Editor assigned: 04-May-2023, Pre QC No. P-106032; Reviewed: 16-May-2023, QC No. Q-106032; Revised: 22-May-2023, Manuscript No. R-106032; Published: 29-May-2023, DOI: 10.37421/2277-1506.2023.12.396


Cancer remains a global health challenge, necessitating the continuous development of novel therapeutic strategies. In recent years, there has been growing interest in harnessing the potential of cancer cells themselves to isolate and analyze naturally occurring anticancer drugs. This preclinical research study presents a method that combines advanced cell culture techniques, high-throughput screening, and molecular analysis to identify and characterize potential drug candidates derived from cancer cells for targeted cancer therapy. The research protocol involves the establishment of primary cancer cell cultures from various malignancies, representing a diverse range of tumour types. These cultures are systematically subjected to extensive screening using a library of compounds, including plant extracts, natural products, and synthetic small molecules. The screening process employs state-of-the-art techniques to assess the cytotoxic effects of each compound on cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells, thereby maximizing therapeutic selectivity.


Cancer • Anticancer drugs • Drug


Cancer cells are abnormal cells that divide and grow uncontrollably, forming tumors or invading nearby tissues. They arise due to genetic mutations or alterations in the DNA that disrupt normal cell growth and division processes. Cancer cells can originate from various types of cells in the body and can spread to other parts of the body through a process called metastasis. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells divide and grow in an uncontrolled manner, leading to the formation of tumors. They bypass the normal checks and balances that regulate cell division, resulting in the accumulation of abnormal cells. Cancer cells often have genetic mutations or alterations in their DNA that affect the cell's ability to function properly. These mutations can occur spontaneously or be inherited, and they can impact genes involved in cell growth, cell death, DNA repair, and other essential cellular processes [1].

Literature Review

Cancer cells often lose their specialized characteristics or differentiation, becoming less similar to the normal cells from which they originated. This loss of differentiation, known as dedifferentiation, contributes to the cells' ability to grow rapidly and invade surrounding tissues. Cancer cells have mechanisms that allow them to evade cell death, such as apoptosis (programmed cell death). They may acquire genetic alterations that prevent apoptosis from occurring, leading to the survival of abnormal cells that would normally be eliminated. Cancer cells have the ability to induce the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. By promoting blood vessel growth, cancer cells ensure a supply of nutrients and oxygen to support their own growth and survival. Cancer cells can break away from the primary tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, allowing them to spread to distant parts of the body and form secondary tumors. Metastasis is a complex process involving the invasion of surrounding tissues, entry into the circulation, and establishment of new tumors in distant organs [2,3].


Understanding the characteristics and behaviour of cancer cells is crucial for developing effective treatments. Therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and surgery aim to target and destroy cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells. Advances in cancer research continue to shed light on the complex biology of cancer cells, leading to the development of more precise and personalized treatment approaches. One method for preclinical research that isolates and analyses drugs from cancer cells is the use of cell-based assays. Cell-based assays involve growing cancer cells in vitro and exposing them to different drug compounds to assess their effects. Cancer cells of interest are cultured and maintained in a laboratory setting. These cells can be obtained from cell banks, patient samples, or established cell lines. The cells are typically grown in specific culture media under controlled conditions to ensure their viability and growth. Once the cancer cells reach the desired confluence or experimental conditions, they are exposed to different drug compounds. This can involve treating the cells with a range of drug concentrations, single drugs, or combinations of drugs [4].

Cell viability and proliferation assays are used to assess the effects of the drugs on the cancer cells. These assays measure parameters such as cell viability, cell death (apoptosis), cell cycle progression, or inhibition of cell proliferation. Various methods can be employed, such as MTT assays, ATPbased assays, flow cytometer, or fluorescence microscopy. To gain insights into the mechanisms of drug action, molecular analysis techniques can be applied. This includes analyzing changes in gene expression, protein expression, or signalling pathway activation using techniques such as Western blotting, immunofluorescence, PCR, microarray analysis, or next-generation sequencing. These molecular analyses provide information on how the drugs affect specific molecular targets or signalling pathways within the cancer cells [5].

In some cases, the preclinical research may involve studying drug resistance mechanisms. This can be done by assessing the response of cancer cells to different drug concentrations, comparing drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cell lines, or analysing the expression of genes involved in drug resistance. The collected data from cell-based assays and molecular analyses are analyzed to evaluate the efficacy and potential toxicity of the drugs. Statistical analyses can be applied to determine the significance of the results and identify dose-response relationships or potential synergistic effects of drug combinations. This cellbased assay approach allows researchers to isolate and analyze drugs' effects on cancer cells in a controlled laboratory setting before advancing to animal models and clinical trials. It provides insights into drug potency, mechanisms of action, and potential resistance, helping to inform further preclinical and clinical development of the drugs [6].


In conclusion, the method of using cell-based assays for preclinical research provides a valuable tool for isolating and analysing drugs in the context of cancer cells. This approach allows researchers to study the effects of drugs on cancer cells in a controlled laboratory setting, providing insights into their efficacy, mechanisms of action, and potential for resistance. By assessing cell viability, proliferation, and molecular changes, researchers can evaluate the impact of drugs on cancer cells and make informed decisions regarding their further development. This method serves as a crucial step in the drug discovery and development process, providing valuable information that informs subsequent preclinical and clinical studies.



Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


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