Scientists working to better identify potential cancer drugs

Scientists working to better identify potential cancer drugs

PanARMENIAN.Net - A new way of identifying potential cancer drugs could streamline the development of therapies, following a discovery by scientists, News Medical says.

Researchers have devised a way to screen potential drug compounds to select those that interfere with tumor cells in two ways.

Their study seeks to build on an existing approach of identifying drugs that target an essential protein in cancer cells, known as telomerase.

Scientists hope to identify drugs that not only inhibit this protein but also induce errors when cancer cells divide packages of their DNA - known as chromosomes - to form new cells.

An attack on two fronts could prevent cancerous cells from growing, and therefore kill tumors.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the Institute Curie in Paris, the National Cancer Institute of the US and the Kazusa DNA Institute of Japan tested drug compounds using artificial human chromosomes with in-built fluorescent markers.

This allowed the team to easily detect when and how often drug treatment caused the loss of chromosomes.

Drugs identified in this way were then tested in different types of cancer cells, to investigate exactly how they were able to disrupt chromosome division at a high rate.

Researchers hope these newly identified drugs can inform development of more effective therapies.

The study, published in Cancer Research, was supported by Wellcome, the US National Institutes of Health, and the Government of Japan.

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