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sydney team develop new cancer drug

  1. vogliobene

    3,545 posts.

    Sydney researchers have developed a new class of cancer drugs, the first to target the internal structure of tumour cells.

    The new drugs, which have been trialled in rodents, destroy one of the fundamental building blocks of cancer cells - the molecules that form the struts and cables of their interior scaffold.

    Tests in cell cultures show the drugs, the culmination of 30 years of research, are effective against every cancer type tested, including difficult-to-treat childhood cancers such as neuroblastomas.

    Neuroblastoma cancer cell.
    Green for danger: A neuroblastoma cancer cell before treatment. The new class of drugs destroys molecules that form the internal struts or cables (represented here by the green lines) that hold a cancer cell together. Photo: Howard Vindin
    "Our drug causes the structure of the cancer cell to collapse - and it happens relatively quickly,'' said lead researcher Peter Gunning of the University of NSW. "It is much like what happens when you see a building collapse on the TV news.''

    Professor Gunning hopes the drugs, called anti-tropomyosins, will soon be added to the few other chemotherapy drug classes. ''This is a long sought-after big target.''

    Scientists have tried to attack the architecture of cancer cells for decades, but until now they had been unable to develop a drug that would only destroy tumour cells and not other tissues in the body.

    Neuroblastoma cancer cell.
    Downsized: A neuroblastoma cancer cell after treatment. Photo: Howard Vindin
    ''Nobody has ever made a drug like these,'' he said.

    The new drugs target a protein called tropomyosin, a molecule that pairs with another protein called actin to organise the internal structure of all cells in the body including cancer cells.

    The protein pairs also form the smallest contracting units inside muscles such as the heart.

    Most other research groups have focused on finding drugs that worked against actin. The problem with targeting this protein is that the actin found in the heart and other muscles is almost identical to the actin found in cancer cells.

    ''The issue [with those drugs] is the heart stops beating,'' he said.

    When Professor Gunning and others discovered that tropomyosin in heart and other muscle cells was different to the tropomyosin in cancer cells, they saw a way around the problem. His group developed a computer model of tropomyosin and screened thousands of potential pharmaceutical targets for an appropriate drug candidate.

    Out of 25,000 targets, most simple molecules, only one killed tumour cells in the lab.

    When the group refined its computer models they identified another five drugs that are now being tested in animals in the US to establish which molecule will be trialled as a chemotherapy treatment in humans.

    ''The aim is to be able to initiate a trial for neuroblastoma at the end of 2014,'' said Professor Gunning, whose findings are published in journal Cancer Research

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/sydney-team-develop-new-cancer-drug-20130814-2rwte.html#ixzz2bycell5Z

  2. Pixie

    5,651 posts.

    ...:-))...brilliant news...thank you for that..:-)..are they going to list on ASX??..?..lol...would love to invest in that..:-)

  3. moondoong

    20,683 posts.

    Anything to fight this scourge of a disease is very welcome.

    I wish them all the best and hopefully lives are saved.

  4. birdman29

    5,948 posts.

    Why Medicine Won’t Allow Cancer to Be Cured

    August 7, 2013

    Nearly two million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year—one person out of three will be hit with a cancer diagnosis at some time in their lives, in spite of the massive technological advances over the past half-century.

    Western medicine is no closer to finding a “cancer cure,” while cancer has grown into a worldwide epidemic of staggering proportions. The statistics speak for themselves:

    In the early 1900s, one in 20 people developed cancer
    In the 1940s, one in 16 people developed cancer
    In the 1970s, it was one in 10
    Today, it’s one in three!

    According to the CDC, about 1,660,290 (1.66 million) new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 20131. If overall death rates are falling, why are incidence rates still on the rise? The answer is simple: the 40-year “war on cancer” has been a farce.

    The Cancer Machine

    Please understand that cancer is big business. The cancer industry is spending virtually nothing of its multi-billion dollar resources on effective prevention strategies, such as dietary guidelines, exercise and obesity education. Instead, it pours its money into treating cancer, not preventing or curing it.

    Why would they shoot their cash cow? If they can keep the well-oiled Cancer Machine running, they will continue to make massive profits on chemotherapy drugs, radiotherapy, diagnostic procedures and surgeries.

    The typical cancer patient spends $50,000 fighting the disease. Chemotherapy drugs are among the most expensive of all treatments, many ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 for a one-month supply.

    If the cancer industry allows a cure, then their patient base goes away. It makes more sense to keep a steady stream of cancer patients alive, but sick and coming back for more. How did this societal monster come about?

    All of it:


  5. moondoong

    20,683 posts.

    Hi birdman,

    In all fairness I believe the increased cancer rates is more related to the longer lifespan of people now, than compared to the turn of the last century.

    On the basis that 'most' (not all) cancers can be linked to genetic errors or damage or exposure to chemicals over a lifetime, then it stands to reason that the longer someone lives, the more likely this disease will emanate within that person.

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