This story is a supplement to the feature "Could Our Own Proteins Be Used to Help Us Fight Cancer?" which was printed in the July 2008 issue of Scientific American.


A number of drugs currently in clinical trials would fight disease by taking advantage of the diverse functions of heat shock proteins. Some seek to inhibit the proteins, others to induce them, depending on the disorder and the HSP that is being employed or targeted.

Treatment Mechanism
  Inhibitor of HSPs
(compound able to block the functioning of HSPs that would normally help a cancer cell, virus-infected cell or pathogenic bacterium to survive)
  Induction of HSPs
(heat or chemicals able to induce a patient's own HSPs to protect an organ during surgical or other treatments)
(antigenic HSP-peptide complexes that are purified, then introduced into the body to stimulate an immune response to a tumor or pathogen)


HSP90   Alvespimycin (Kosan Biosciences) Breast cancer
  Tanespimycin (Kosan Biosciences) Leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors
  CNF 2024 (Biogen Idec)
  SNX-5422 mesylate (Serenex)
  AUY-922 (Novartis) Solid tumors
  IPI-504 (Infinity Pharmaceuticals) Melanoma, prostate cancer
  BIIB021 (Biogen Idec) Leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors
HSP27   OGX-427 (OncoGenex Technologies) Solid tumors
Various   Radio-frequency therapy Melanoma
HSP65   HspE7 (Nventa Biopharmaceuticals) Precancerous cervical cells infected with human papillomavirus
HSP70   AG-707 (Anitgenics) Herpes simplex type 2
  HSPPC-70/AG-858 (Antigenics) Chronic myeloid leukemia
HSP65   HSPPC-96/vitespen* (Antigenics) Solid tumors
*Approved for clinical use in Russia