University of North Carolina researchers investigated different techniques for inhibiting the catalytic activity of protein hTERT – a marker of advanced stage endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer cell lines ECC-1 and Ishikawa were exposed to either siRNA or a small molecule pharmacological inhibitor BIBR1532, in addition to the drug paclitaxel, to see whether inhibiting hTERT provided additional efficacy against these cancer cells. The Cellometer, in combination with propidium iodide and Annexin-V FITC, calculated apoptosis in the various treatment conditions. The hTERT inhibition plus paclitaxel did prove synergistic, reducing cell growth and invasion more than paclitaxel alone. Furthermore, BIBR1532 antagonized cell invasion even when hTERT was overexpressed. This work uncovers a possible new treatment paradigm for those suffering from advanced endometrial cancer.

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