Temple University researchers have developed a new drug that halts cancer cell division, instigating tumor death. The drug works by interfering with the activity of a gene called Plk1 and is now in phase I clinical trials for human cancer therapy. Their research is published in the March issue of Cancer Cell.
Plk1 is one of several molecules that play a critical role in the spread of cancer. Previous studies have found higher levels of Plk1 in cancer tumors and in patients with poorer survival rates. When Plk1 activity was blocked, cancer cells could not divide and tumors could not survive.
Lead by Prem Reddy, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and director of the Fels Institute for Cancer Research at Temple University School of Medicine, the Temple team sought out a new compound that would target and block Plk1. They developed and tested ON01910, a small molecule that inhibits Plk1 activity, on 94 different human cancers.
Eryn Jelesiewicz | EurekAlert!
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