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First-of-its-kind study creates new tool for targeted cancer drug development
Date:10/30/2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 30 2011)In a technical tour de force, scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center have cataloged and cross-indexed the actions of 178 candidate drugs capable of blocking the activity of one or more of 300 enzymes, including enzymes critical for cancer and other diseases. Additionally, a free library of the results has been made available online to the research community. This unique library represents an important new tool for accelerating the development of an entire class of targeted cancer drugs.

The enzymes, called kinases, catalyze a wide array of vital biological activities. Unfortunately, they can also act as drivers for many forms of cancer. For this reason, the candidate drugs, called kinase inhibitors, have the potential to act as powerful anti-cancer agents. They can also interfere with normal processes in the body, however, resulting in side effects. With the new library, researchers will be able to analyze the complex interactions of these inhibitors with their targets to develop cancer drugs that block specific kinases responsible for disease while seeking to avoid major side effects. The results from the Fox Chase team's first-of-its-kind study will appear in the November issue of Nature Biotechnology.

"These results have pushed the field closer to finding truly specific inhibitors of the processes that drive cancer," says Jeffrey R. Peterson, Ph.D., associate professor in the Cancer Biology Program at Fox Chase and senior author on the new study. "We now have a collection of kinase inhibitors that are more well-characterized and understood than any other library. The next step is to use this information to identify specific, effective therapies that stop cancer in its tracks while avoiding healthy processes."

Already, some cancer patients receive kinase inhibitors to treat their disease, and many more such drugs are being developed, says Peterson. But the body contains more than 500 differ
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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