A New Anti-Cancer Drug– The Next Generation

October 05, 2017

An exciting discovery by Dr. Hoyun Lee at Health Science North Research Institute (HSNRI) in Sudbury, in collaboration with Professor Dr. Piyush Trivedi from the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in India, was published in the academic journal, Scientific Reports, on August 31. The discovery shows the development of new anticancer drugs that can effectively kill tumour cells that are resistant to many different anti-cancer drugs.

Scientific Reports is a sister journal to one of the world's top ranked scientific journals from the United Kingdom, Nature. The article also revealed that CTR compounds, the next generation of microtubule inhibitors, can be very effective in combating many different cancers including breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma. Each CTR is not only effective by itself, but also excellent for combinational therapies with other cancer drugs as it can increase efficacy while reducing undesirable side effects caused by the partner drugs.

In collaboration with Dr. Graham Pawelec, a renowned immunologist at the University of Tubingen, Germany, Dr. Lee's group at HSNRI is currently trying to identify biomarkers that can reliably predict the vulnerability of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, to the CTR compounds. The resultant biomarkers will help in the development of a personalized medicine approach to effectively treat melanoma patients with low side effects. "This new discovery and new research will help us change the way cancer patients are treated in the future. We are very, very excited about this tremendous possibility," says Dr. Lee.

This discovery is bringing together scientists internationally to collaborate and focus on health priorities in the North. "I want to congratulate Dr. Lee and his team on this new discovery. We are developing real solutions here in the North, for the North and by the North, says Dr. McElhaney, Vice President of Research and Scientific Director.  "These types of discoveries will change the future of cancer treatment for patients."

Dr. Lee is extremely grateful for the support of the Northern Cancer Foundation, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Greater City of Sudbury Development Corporation for funding this research.  Dr. Lee is also affiliated with Laurentian University and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

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