Friday, November 30, 2012

WFU Cancer Research Sparks Cover Story

The work of a team of Wake Forest University researchers developing a novel drug for prostate cancer treatment is featured on the cover of the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

George Kulik, an associate professor of cancer biology, Mark Welker, the William L. Poteat Professor of Chemistry, and Freddie Salsbury, an associate professor of physics, led an interdisciplinary team with expertise in computational physics, synthetic chemistry and cancer biology.

All cells, both normal and diseased, rely on the PI3K cell signaling pathway for growth, so inhibiting the pathway selectively for cancer cells has long been a challenge for scientists in the fight against cancer. While turning PI3K inhibitors loose in the body would prevent the spread of cancer, doing so would also inhibit growth in lots of cells.

To effectively use this strategy in the treatment of cancer, the Wake Forest team had to target these inhibitors to specific kinds of cells. Using prostate cells as the target, they selected a protein that is specifically recognized by prostate cells and attach that protein to a PI3K inhibitor. Read more.


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