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New horizons, treatments in anticancer chemistry

Many employ compounds derived from natural products

SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 -- With the help of chemistry, researchers are continuing their quest to keep cancer in check. A futuristic vaccine and several unique approaches to inhibiting cancer growth are underway. Many new compounds, including epothilones and bryostatins, are derived from natural products. A special symposium on the topic will take place at the 219th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, in San Francisco, Calif., March 26-30. Selected studies are described below.

  • Squeezing hope from a marine organism: Bryostatin, a promising new anticancer agent derived from moss-like aquatic organisms called bryozoans, appears to prevent tumor-promoting compounds from binding to designated receptor proteins. Bryostatin is in advanced human clinical trials, both as a single agent and in combination therapies. (George R. Pettit, Ph.D., Cancer Research Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; ORGN 242, Monday, March 27, 9:20 a.m., Moscone Convention Center, Room 103, Exhibit Level. See page 140 in the final program.)

  • Advances in vaccine development: Designed to force the immune system to recognize tumor-specific antigens and produce antibodies that destroy them, vaccines could be used to keep tumors from recurring after conventional treatment. Targeted areas include prostate, breast, ovarian and colon cancer. Researchers will report on the latest advances, including some vaccines now in clinical trials. (Samuel J. Danishefsky, Ph.D., Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Columbia University, New York, N.Y; ORGN 244, Monday, March 27, 10:40 a.m., Moscone Convention Center, Room 103, Exhibit Level. See page 140 in the final program.)

  • Promising bacterial compounds:A new class of anticancer drugs called epothilones, derived from
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Contact: Charmayne Marsh
y_marsh@acs.org
202-872-4445
American Chemical Society
26-Mar-2000


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