Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists design new drug type to kill lymphoma cells

11.05.2010
Three researchers who are recipients of a collaborative grant from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation have developed a new type of drug designed to kill non-Hodgkin lymphoma tumor cells. The breakthrough could lead to potential non-toxic therapies for cancer patients.

The Foundation-funded investigators include Ari Melnick, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, Alexander MacKerell, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland and Gilbert Privé, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto. The researchers, who published their findings in the April issue of Cancer Cell, have identified a drug that targets an oncogene known as BCL6.

BCL6 functions as a master regulatory protein. "It's a protein that controls the production of thousands of other genes," said Dr. Melnick, an associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. "Because of that, it has a very profound impact on cells and is required for lymphoma cells to survive and multiply."

BCL6 causes the majority of diffuse large B cell lymphomas, the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Currently, about 60 percent of diffuse large B cell lymphomas can be cured with chemo-immunotherapy, said Dr. Melnick. "The hope is that we can improve that to a higher percent, and in the long term reduce the need for chemotherapy," he added.

Traditional cancer drugs target enzymes, which have small pockets on their surfaces that can be blocked with molecules. Until now, pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to create drugs that target a protein like BCL6 because they function through a different mechanism involving interactions with cofactor proteins involving extensive protein surfaces. "And because the real estate covered by these interactions is so large, the drug companies have viewed these as being not druggable targets," said Dr. Melnick.

He and his colleagues were able to identify a "hot spot" on BLC6 that they predicted would play a critical role in protein interactions. They showed that their BCL6 inhibitor drug was specific to BCL6, and did not block other master regulatory proteins. The drug had powerful lymphoma killing activity and yet was non-toxic to normal tissues. "This is the first time a drug of this nature has been designed and it shows that it's not actually impossible to target factors like BCL6," he said.

Emerging data from other investigators suggests that BCL6 is important in many other tumor types, including forms of leukemia.

"The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has always supported the collaborative work of scientists, funding innovative cancer research grants," said Samuel Waxman, M.D., the scientific director of the Foundation. "The Foundation has supported the work of Alexander MacKerell, Ari Melnick and Gilbert Privé for a number of years because we believe their work highlights the critical and important mission of our organization—that collaboration can lead to potential effective cures."

About the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation

The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research, focusing on uncovering the causes of cancer and reprogramming cancer cells.

We dedicate ourselves to delivering tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. Our mission is to eradicate cancer by bridging the gap between lab science and the patient.

Through our collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the SWCRF has awarded more than $70 million to support the work of more than 170 researchers across three continents.

Jenny Song | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.waxmancancer.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>