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Date:12/8/2008

n: Designer Drugs to Block Breast Cancer

Gregory Roth, Ph.D., and colleagues have determined that a biologically active molecule called a chemokine promotes the spread of tumors, particularly in breast cancer. Dr. Roth believes that compounds that block the chemokine may be potential cancer therapies. However, existing small molecules that bind to chemokines only bind weakly, making them poor drug candidates. Dr. Roth and a team of Burnham chemists are working to custom-design molecules that bind tightly to the chemokine, hoping to block its activity and stop the spread of tumors.

Choking Out Cancer

Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D. is trying to kill off cancer by choking it. When tumors are deprived of oxygen, they activate a transcription factor called HIF-1a that helps the tumor compensate and survive. Inhibiting HIF-1a has been hypothesized to be a means of defeating cancer, as tumors eventually experience oxygen deprivation due to insufficient blood flow to the tumor. Dr. Ronai's laboratory has demonstrated proof of this concept by inhibiting PHD3, a regulator of HIF-1a. Binding of short protein fragments to PHD3 results in HIF-1a degradation and halts growth of metastatic tumors in mice. Dr. Ronai's team is now investigating how small molecule compounds might accomplish the same thing.


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Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@burnham.org
858-795-5236
Burnham Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Burnham researchers turn cancer friend into cancer foe
2. Burnham researcher awarded $8 million grant
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