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Study Looks at Use of Mitochondria-Targeted Malaria Drug to Prevent Tumor Growth and Dissemination

Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD, professor and chair of biophysics and the Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research – in collaboration with researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Aix-Marseille Université – published an article, titled “Prevention of Tumor Growth and Dissemination by In Situ Vaccination with Mitochondria-Targeted Atovaquone,” in Advanced Science.

Atovaquone is an FDA-approved drug for malaria. The article discusses the potential of mitochondria-targeted atovaquone to significantly reduce both granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment, and to enhance tumor-infiltrating cytotoxic T cells, ultimately preventing tumor metastasis. Mitochondria-targeted atovaquone could be an attractive drug to modulate tumor immunity to prevent and treat cancers.

The corresponding authors of the article are Ming You, MD, PhD, at Houston Methodist Research Institute and Dr. Kalyanaraman. Other collaborating authors include Mofei Huang, MD, PhD; Donghai Xiong, PhD; Jing Pan, PhD; Qi Zhang, PhD; and Yian Wang, PhD, at Houston Methodist Research Institute; Charles R. Myers, PhD, MCW Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Bryon D. Johnson, PhD, MCW Department of Medicine; and Micael Hardy, PhD, Aix-Marseille Universite.