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Anti-Cancer Roundup

March 12, 2010

The analytic tools of supercomputers are helping researchers identify potential new drugs.

Transcript

Drugs from supercomputers. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Most medicines either come from nature, or are based on compounds found in nature. But increasingly, medical researchers are using what’s known as rational drug design to create novel compounds specifically designed to treat a disorder. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers at the Moores Cancer Center in San Diego report using supercomputers to develop a drug that stops the growth of pancreatic and kidney tumors in mice. Tests in humans haven’t yet begun.

In other anticancer research, Yale scientists report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society that they’ve found a way to synthesize a family of potent anticancer compounds called kinemycins. While these compounds show promise against tumor cells, they couldn’t be studied widely, because until now, they were too difficult to synthesize. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.