ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

SURVEY: Cognitive Impairment II

Top 3 Nutrients to Detox the Liver and Soothe Digestion

Natural Bladder Control, Go Less and Live More

Top Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies — Are You at Risk?

Vital Molecule Increases Cellular Energy and Improves Cognitive Function

Omega Fix for Obesity: How the Right Fats Fight Fat

How Pomegranate May Protect Against Cancer

Trimming the spare tire: Canola oil may cut belly fat

The Onion: Cancer Fighter and Food Preserver

Safely Reduce a Common Cause of Stomach Distress

 
Print Page
Email Article

Genetic Engineering Could Salvage Once-Promising Anti-Cancer Agents

  [ 5 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • June 19, 2002






A group of anti-cancer agents that once produced dismal results in clinical trials could once again be a promising tool in fighting the deadly disease, thanks to research by a team of chemists at the University of Washington and in Germany.

The agents, called maytansinoids, were first discovered in the 1970s when scientists looked for tumor inhibitors in a rare Ethiopian plant. The same group of maytansinoids was later isolated from a new bacteria species. The compounds held great promise because of their exceptional potency, and early tests indicated they were effective against some tumors and leukemia lines.

But the compounds were difficult to come by in quantities large enough to manufacture drugs and, when potential treatments were developed, they proved too strong when tested in clinical trials.

"These compounds were too potent. They were toxic to patients," said Tin-Wein Yu, a UW research assistant professor of chemistry. "We thought if we could modify the chemical structure to make the agents more appropriate for cancer patients, that would be beneficial. And we could use the same strategy to ease the side effects."

UW researchers headed by Heinz Floss, an emeritus chemistry professor, teamed with researchers from Rheinische Wilhems-Universität in Bonn, Germany, to develop ways of modifying genes that create maytansinoids and then produce cancer treatments that are more effective against tumors and better tolerated by patients.

Their efforts essentially relied on using the modified genes to produce the anti-cancer agent. The first step was to locate the genes that control maytansinoid formation and clone them. They first gained access to genes that control maytansinoid production, then altered the maytansinoid structure at the genetic level.

"If you can manipulate the production genes, it makes the process much easier," said Yu, who is the lead author of a paper describing the work in the June 11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

To clone the genes, the researchers snipped the genome of the bacteria (Actinosynnema pretiosum) into small bits to create a genomic library. They used a gene that already had been cloned from another microorganism (Amycolatopsis mediterranei) as a reference to screen the library and find the genes needed for maytansinoid construction. Having access to the genes that control the formation of maytansinoids allows scientists to manipulate the structure of the anti-cancer agent at the DNA level.

The work, for which the UW has applied for a patent, allows for a detailed analysis of maytansinoid formation at both the genetic and biochemical levels. It also sets the stage to modify maytansinoids through genetic engineering, so they are less toxic to humans, are more effective against cancer and bond easily with delivery agents.

Several companies are in discussions about the possibility of using the research to combine maytansinoids with antibodies that target tumors. The antibodies would search out specific cancer antigens attach only to cancer cells, Yu said. The maytansinoids then can enter the cancer cells and destroy them without damaging surrounding healthy tissue.
"It is a warhead strategy," he said.

The work has provided researchers with a number of options other than simply deciphering the biosynthesis of pre-existing compounds, Yu said. Manipulating the structure, he said, ultimately could lead to development of more effective cancer drugs.

The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Germany's central public funding organization for academic research), the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie in Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.




Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function

Natural Remedies

Front Line Defense Against Colds & Flu - Support for Healthy Immune System Balance Front Line Defense Against Colds & Flu - Support for Healthy Immune System Balance
The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms
Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health with Omega-7 Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health with Omega-7
Vitamin E: Super Antioxidant We Only Thought We Knew Vitamin E: Super Antioxidant We Only Thought We Knew
Olea25 Olive Hydroxytyrosol Hits Astonishing 68,000+ ORAC Antioxidant Value Olea25 Olive Hydroxytyrosol Hits Astonishing 68,000+ ORAC Antioxidant Value

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map