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Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise in Fighting Cancer

LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI presented strong evidence today that an antibiotic typically prescribed for Alzheimer's patients could be effective in eventually treating certain types of cancers.

Q. Ping Dou, Ph.D., leader, Prevention Program at Karmanos, and members of his lab announced the findings of their study showing that the drug Clioquinol (CQ) appears to have an anti-tumor effect in mice bearing human prostate cancer cells. The announcement was made at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Dou and his team turned to the copper-binding compound CQ after discovering that prostate, breast, brain, colon and lung tumor tissue often have a higher level of copper than normal tissue. According to Dr. Dou, this led his team to investigate whether cancers with high levels of copper can lead to targeted treatment.

Karmanos researchers found that after binding CQ to the copper in prostate tumor tissue, the drug induces cell death in human prostate cancer cells.

According to Dr. Dou, his lab will take this information and work with Karmanos clinicians to create a treatment selectively targeting the copper found in tumors.

"We want to find out if we can target cancers that express high levels of copper," says Dr. Dou. "We hope to discover a compound that promotes tumor-killing activity."

The AACR was founded in 1907 by a group of eleven physicians and scientists interested in research, "to further the investigation and spread the knowledge of cancer." Today, AACR accelerates progress toward the prevention and cure of cancer by promoting research, education, communication, and advocacy.

Based in midtown Detroit, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is committed to a future free of cancer. The Institute is one of 39 National Can cer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Institute is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 faculty members, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, the Institute strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D. is the Institute's president and CEO.

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

CONTACT: Courtney McCrimmon, +1-412-225-6899, or Linda Remington,+1-313-576-8614, both of Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute

Web site: http://www.karmanos.org/

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