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NCI Cancer Center News

University of Minnesota Scientists Develop New Drug to Target and Destroy Tumor Cells

  • Posted: October 19, 2012

A new drug created at the University of Minnesota may hold the answer to ... pancreatic cancer, according to results published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The study is based on successful outcomes in a mouse model -- results researchers (may) carry over to human patients when the drug potentially begins human trials in 2013.

The drug, Minnelide, is a type of injectable chemotherapy designed to target tumor cells. The drug works by inhibiting a heat shock protein, HSP 70, which has been proven to aid the growth of tumor cells. By stopping HSP 70 from working, Minnelide disperses the cells integral to the tumor's growth and the cancer disintegrates.

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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.