Download: Fast, Fun, Awesome
study in australia
student information in australia
Australian University graduate information
professional networking for australian university students
employment links for australian university students
University quizzes for australian students

‘Next Generation’ cancer treatment ready for clinical trials

A new class of anti-cancer drugs which control the growth and spread of cancers and do so with minimal side effects is being developed by researchers at the University of Sydney.

“These new agents attack a fundamental characteristic of cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone,” said Professor Des Richardson, from the Bosch Institute in Sydney Medical School.

“They work by binding the iron in tumour cells, preventing them from growing. We believe they have the potential to be an effective new strategy, to be ‘next generation’ drugs, for a range of cancers including highly aggressive pancreatic cancer.

Because they do not act on non-cancerous cells these new agents dramatically reduce a range of distressing side effects familiar to people undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Professor Richardson is the head of the Iron Metabolism and Chelation Program at the University and has been conducting research in this area since the early 1990s.

The latest research on the chelators is led by post-doctoral researcher and NHMRC Early Career Fellow, Dr Zaklina Kovacevic.

In the Journal of Biological Chemistry, published today, the researchers outline how these new agents increase the levels of a molecule (NDRG1) which inhibits the spread of cancer, including prostate and colon cancers.

“Together with a recent article in the journal, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, these studies advance our knowledge of cancer cell biology and how we can target specific molecules to stop cancer progressing,” Dr Kovacevic said.

Professor Richardson is currently in advanced discussions on a licensing deal with an American company for developing the compound to the stage of clinical trials.

“This will present a significant step forward in the fight against cancer and provide cancer sufferers new hope for a better outcome,” Professor Richardson said.

“It is a difficult step to go from the often quoted bench to bedside, but it has been greatly helped by the Bosch Institute’s Translational Grants program, and by an NHMRC Development Grant.”

The Executive Director of the Bosch Institute, Professor Jonathan Stone stated: “For anyone who has been through, or cared for a cancer sufferer through, the purgatory of chemotherapy, the prospect of anti-cancer drugs which are broadly effective but with few side effects is immensely welcome.”

Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342, verity.leatherdale@sydney.edu.au

Leave a reply

Feature Research
Controlling fear by modifying DNA

For many people, fear of flying or of spiders skittering across the lounge room floor is more than just a [more]

Kidney disease gene controls cancer highway

University of Queensland researchers have discovered that a gene that causes kidney disease also controls growth of the lymphatic system, [more]

Queensland fraud is a billion dollar business

Queensland businesses could be losing over $12 billion per annum as a result of company fraud according to a recent study [more]

Inside the mind of a burglar

Burglars are opportunistic, generally choose their targets at random and know all the tricks householders try to use as deterrents, [more]

Flight experiment goes boldly forth to advance new technology

A hypersonic flight experiment at eight times the speed of sound, led by a University of Queensland PhD student, has [more]

Pre-drinking alcohol before hitting the nightclubs likely to lead to violence

The increasingly common practice of drinking at home before hitting the nightclubs is the major predictor of people experiencing harm [more]

Research reveals women are more interested in a man’s earning capacity than the size of his wallet

Despite ABBA’s insistence that women long for “money, money, money”, research has found that The Beatles were on the [more]

Challenges still face women seeking seniority in business

Research conducted by the UTS Centre for Corporate Governance underpinning the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership reveals a decade [more]

Swiss Army Knife teeth secret to seal’s success

Biologists have shown how an advanced set of teeth give Antarctic leopard seals the biological tools to feast on prey [more]

Beautiful physics: Tying knots in light

New research published today seeks to push the discovery that light can be tied in knots to the next level. [more]