New drug stops tumour growth

February 15th, 2010 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 15 (IANS) A novel and rapid anti-cancer drug development strategy has resulted in a new drug that stops kidney and pancreatic tumours from growing in mice.
Researchers at the Moores Cancer Centre, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have found a drug that binds to a molecular ’switch’ found in cancer cells and cancer-associated blood vessels to keep it ‘off’.

“We locked the kinase switch in the off position in cancer and in tumour-associated blood vessels,” which differs from the way current inhibitors attempt to block active kinases, said David Cheresh, professor of pathology at UCSD School, who led the study.

The new approach employs scaffold-based chemistry combined with supercomputer technology, allowing rapid screening and development of drugs that are more selective for the tumour.

The development and screening processes were used to identify potential drug candidates able to halt a growth signalling enzyme, or kinase, which can foster tumour blood vessel and tumour growth.

The novel approach may become a useful strategy in cancer drug development, said a UCSD release.

The study appeared online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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