Toronto: Researchers have identified new molecules that kill cancer cells while protecting healthy cells.

The research also shines a light on what happens to cells at the moment they become cancerous. The most effective cancer drugs today may kill cancer cells but they also kill healthy cells, causing severe side effects for patients in the process.

Qing-Bin Lu, professor from University of Waterloo, has initiated a novel method to discover a new class of non-platinum-based-halogenated molecules that kill cancer cells yet prevent healthy cells from being damaged.

Normally, the laser spectroscopy is applied to study chemical reactions as they occur on a molecular level.

The laser takes a series of rapid "snapshots" of molecules as they interact and change structure over time.

Professor Lu has integrated the ultra-fast laser with molecular biology and cell biology.

He has applied the tool to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer at the very moment when the DNA becomes damaged.

Professor Lu has also used it to investigate how radiation therapy and chemotherapy using chemical agents work in treating a variety of cancers.

"We know DNA damage is the initial step. With the novel approach, we can go back to the very beginning to find out what causes DNA damage in the first place, then mutation and then cancer," the authors said.

It is extremely rare to discover anti-cancer agents that can selectively kill cancer cells and protect healthy cells.

Lu has now applied for patents on the new family of non-platinum-based-halogenated molecules and hopes to start clinical trials soon.

Femtomedicine

References:

  • http://kickerdaily.com/scientists-discover-new-molecules-that-kill-cancer-cells-while-protecting-healthy-ones/
  • http://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/scientists-discover-new-molecules-that-kill-cancer-cells-and-protect-healthy-cells
  • http://www.sciencenewsline.com/articles/2015051321150092.html
  • http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/05/13/New-class-of-molecules-kills-cancer-cells-saves-healthy-ones/4971431526610/
  • http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5616807-waterloo-researcher-discovers-promising-cancer-treatment/

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