New horizons, treatments in anticancer chemistry

common soil bacteria, attacks drug-resistant tumors. Although these agents appear to be much more potent than similar microtubule-stabilizing drugs, they carry a high risk of toxicity. Researchers are taking a variety of approaches to creating analogs that are safer than the natural drug. The first human trial of this experimental class of drug analogs started recently. (Gregory Vite, Ph.D., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, N.J.; ORGN 286, Monday, March 27, 1:30 p.m., Moscone Convention Center, Room 102, Exhibit Level. See page 141 in the final program.)

  • First oral medication with Taxol®-like activity: A new anticancer agent is poised to become the first orally active medication with a mechanism similar to Taxol®, which stops tumor growth by stabilizing the tiny strands (microtubules) that separate the chromosomes during cell division. Taxol® and other microtubule-stabilizing agents are currently administered by injection or intravenously. The new agent, which appears to be especially promising for the treatment of breast and colon cancer, attacks tumors that are resistant to Taxol® and may have fewer side effects. Known as IDN5109, it is in clinical trials. (Iwao Ojima, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, N.Y.; ORGN 245, Monday, March 27, 11:20 a.m., Moscone Convention Center, Room 103, Exhibit Level. See page 140 in the final program.)

  • New anticancer agents from algae: Cryptophycins are derived from blue-green algae. Unlike Taxol® and epithilones, which inactivate microtubules by stabilizing their structure after they form, cryptophycins inhibit tumor growth by preventing the formation of microtubules. A synthetic cryptophycin analog is in Phase I clinical trials. (Chuan Shih, Ph.D., Lilly Research Laboratories, Indianapolis, Ind.; ORGN 291, Monday, March 27, 4:40 p.m., Moscone Convention Center, Room 102, Exhibit Level. See page 141 in the final program.)

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  • Contact: Charmayne Marsh
    American Chemical Society

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