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12 thoughts on “D21A – Summers”
Would using both valproic acid and chemotherapy increase or worsen the side effects that already exist for either treatments?
Valproic acid was being tested as the chemotherapy here, so it would not be used with another chemotherapy in patients (we were instead testing if it could potentially be used with radiation therapy). Because the compound has already been tested in humans as an anti-seizure medication, it has been shown to be somewhat safe in patients and could potentially have fewer side effects than some other existing chemotherapies.
Has the past research you were referring to used this compound with radiation as well? Also, what does it mean when you say the individual results are roughly the same as when they are combined?
Yes, previous research has tested valproic acid in combination with radiation on cancer cells and supports that the compound is a potential radiation sensitizer.
An additive effect occurs when therapies used together create an effect that is approximately equal to the sum of their individual effects, meaning they neither enhance or inhibit each other’s individual properties. When I said that, it meant that our compound showed an additive effect with radiation.
Hi I thought this was really great. I was wondering if you thought that valproic acid may be able to be used in conjunction with something else in order to increase its effectiveness since it currently does not result in a survival rate less that two S.D below the mean?
The valproic acid was being used with radiation therapy in our study, are you asking if it could be used with another kind of chemotherapy? If that is your question, I do not think that it would be useful to combine it with another chemotherapeutic compound. As far as I know, this is not a common way of treating cancer patients and could have adverse effects.
What do you mean about the effects being roughly equal to their sum individually? Can you clarify what these effects showed! Great presentation!
Yes, I was describing that the compound and radiation therapy were showing an additive effect instead of a synergistic effect. As I said in an earlier response, an additive effect occurs when therapies are used together and create a combined effect that is approximately equal to the sum of their individual effects, meaning they neither enhance or inhibit each other’s individual properties. I hope this helps!
Nice job! I’m a little confused- it looks like valproic acid is a hit in your dose response curve; is this not 2 st devs below the mean?
We were only using the dose response curve to see if the valproic acid could be effectively diluted, which is an important property for any medication. Unfortunately, data from that dilution series was not enough to identify the compound as a hit, since the survival rate did not fall below two standard deviations under the mean in any of our other data. Also, we had to consider that there may have been some kind of error that resulted in the low survival rate in that one experiment, since it was different from the rest of the data.
Very informative presentation! I was wondering, how do the doses of valproic acid used in humans compare to the doses given to the Drosophila? It appears to have a cytotoxic effect in strong enough doses, however, would the doses required to treat cancer cells in the human body be too high for healthy cells to withstand?
Actually, my lab group was informed at the end of this semester that Valproic acid can be administered as a medication at even higher doses in humans than we were using in our flies, which may explain why we were unable to identify the compound as a hit. We did not get to decide the highest concentration that we tested in this study, it was given to us, so this was a little disheartening to hear. This means that, potentially, the doses required to treat cancer cells could be safe for humans. Hope this answer helps!