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  • Posted: 10/28/2012
NCI Cancer Center News

Key discovered to how chemotherapy drug causes heart failure

Doxorubicin, a 50-year-old chemotherapy drug still in widespread use against a variety of cancers, has long been known to destroy heart tissue, as well as tumors, in some patients. Scientists have identified an unexpected mechanism via the enzyme Top2b that drives the drug's attack on heart muscle, providing a new approach for identifying patients who can safely tolerate doxorubicin and for developing new drugs. A team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports its findings about the general DNA-damaging drug in the journal Nature Medicine.

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Among 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.