Sometimes enzymes are used in the treatment of cancer. When this happens, enzymes are mixed with pro-drugs that are then changed by the enzymes to become functioning chemotherapy drugs that are then used to treat cancer.
In one study (1), the ways in which the enzymes are used was looked into. They discovered that enzymes could be used to change prodrugs to chemotherapy drugs (as described above), used with viruses that cause enzymes to turn prodrugs into drugs, and used with antibodies that cause enzymes that turn prodrugs into drugs.
This type of therapy has not been used on many people with cancer because researchers are having difficulty figuring out exactly how these enzymes can be given to having the maximal effect on cancer treatment. More research needs to be done before enzyme therapy is to be a standard practice in cancer treatment.
- Xu G, et al. Strategies for Enzyme/Prodrug Cancer Therapy. CCR. November 2001; Volume 7, Issue 11.
Dr. Adem Gunes