a new effort, MU medicinal chemists added a special structure to an anticancer
drug and developed a more potent medicine to treat the serious disease.
to Mark W. Lee Jr., assistant professor of chemistry in College of Arts and
Science, there has been an increasing interest in using carboranes in drug
Carboranes consists of three elements — boron, carbon and
hydrogen—that exist as a cluster. Carboranes work by aiding the drug to bind to
the target, thus creating a more efficient mechanism that can destroy the
cells in the body produce energy through multi-step, complex processes. Cancer
cells, which multiply uncontrollably, are more dependent on energy for
survival. Therefore, one of the key features of a cancer drug is to target the
energy that the malignant cell uses for its growth and survival. Lee and his
fellow researchers used carboranes to create novel drugs that were designed to shut off energy
production within the cancer cell.
increasing the binding strength of a drug, only a smaller dose is required.
Besides, side effects are minimized while the effectiveness of the therapy
increases. Lee said that this discovery also would lead to further uses for the
unique feature of the new drug is that it prevents the cancer cells from
repairing themselves and reinvading the body like they do very often after
radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
According to Lee, carborane-based drugs are extremely potent and
were found to be very effective in treating breast, lung and colon cancer.
study is the first of its kind to demonstrate how carboranes can effectively
improve drug functioning and it hopes to find other ways for improving drugs
for treating not just cancer but other diseases as well.
trials are to begin in the next two years and it would be several years before
the drug finds its way to the market.
The present study was
published in the Journal of Medicinal
Chemistry, which is a publication of the American Chemical Society.