A High-Powered Cancer Drug
Researchers have made a cancer drug that’s currently being developed into a medication that’s ten times more powerful than the original formula.
In developing the higher-powered drug, a team of researchers at the University of Missouri focused on carboranes , a cluster of the elements boron, carbon and hydrogen. “Carboranes don’t fight cancer directly, but they aid in the ability of a drug to…[create] a more potent mechanism for destroying the cancer cells,” assistant chemistry professor Mark Lee said in a statement.
The carboranes work by shutting down a cancer cell’s energy production; energy is required for the cell to survive. Because carboranes are effective in targeting only cancer cells rather than healthy cells, patients would need a smaller dose and have fewer side effects.
Lee and his colleagues found that the carborane-based drug is ten times more powerful than a drug they were already developing. The higher-powered drug has already been tested on breast, lung and colon cancer, Lee said, “with exceptional results.”
Lee said the study is the first to systematically show that carboranes that can improve a drug’s performance, and that drugs containing carborane could eventually be used to treat other illnesses besides cancer.
Although it will be several years before the drug is on the market, Lee said that clinical trials could begin in two years.
The study was published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.”