Cincinnati Cancer Research Yields New Chemotherapy Delivery Agent
University of Cincinnati cancer researchers made progress by developing a new chemotherapy delivery agent that could significantly reduce the side effects experienced by patients. Although chemotherapy is one of the most effective ways of treating cancer and has improved the recovery possibilities for many patients, it also causes many of those treated to experience severe side effects.
The side effects associated with chemotherapy are caused by the delivery agents used in the chemo drug which chemically seek out cancer cells to ensure that the chemo only effects cancerous cells while avoiding healthy ones.
The targeting agent used in current chemotherapy drugs finds cancer cells based on their fast reproduction rate. This means that the chemo will also kill other rapidly reproducing cells such as those found in the stomach lining and hair follicles, thus causing the nausea and hair loss associated with chemotherapy.
New research at the University of Cincinnati offers a solution this problem. Edward J. Merino, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Cincinnati (image courtesy of the University of Cincinnati), has developed a new chemotherapy drug delivery agent that will target cancer cells based on the unique "pollution" produced by their altered metabolisms rather than their fast growth rate.
Merino calls this new agent a “ROS-caged agent” because it specifically targets a certain reactive oxygen pollutant, known as ROS, which is a unique product of cancer cell metabolism.
Merino says that his new delivery agent could allow chemotherapy drugs to act "like heat-seeking missiles that attack only cancerous cells.” He believes that this will create a new breed of chemotherapy drugs with “far fewer side effects.”
There are currently over 200 researchers studying cancer at Ohio State University. In 2012 the Department of Defense alloted over $239 million for cancer research.
If you are a bioscience researcher in the Cincinnati area looking for ways to improve your research capabilities or a life science vendor looking to connect with university customers, plan on attending a Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.'s BioResearch Product Faire™ at the University of Cincinnati campus on August 1, 2012.