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NCI Cancer Center News

UC San Diego biologists engineer algae to make complex anti-cancer 'designer' drug

  • Posted: December 11, 2012

Biologists at UC San Diego (home of the Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center) have succeeded in genetically engineering algae to produce a complex and expensive human therapeutic drug used to treat cancer. Their achievement, detailed in a paper in this week's early online issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, opens the door for making these and other "designer" proteins in larger quantities and much more cheaply than can now be made from mammalian cells.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.