Our scientists have discovered new ways to fight cancer
It’s not a secret that sometimes the cancer is untreatable. But the scientists of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Novosibirsk Institute of Organic Chemistry of N.N. Vorozhtsov, have revealed why drugs, such as topotecan and irinotecan cannot express themselves fully. The reason is a tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 enzyme. It removes the damage caused by drugs in the carcinogenic cell’s DNA.
"During the course of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the DNA structure in cancer cells is disrupted. However, all these damages are liquidated by the of DNA repair systems, which activity should be inhibited for the treatment. The development of such agents is one of the main trends in modern medicinal chemistry", - said Head of the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry of Enzymes ICBFM SB RAS Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor Olga Lavrik.
The scientists also search for new drugs against cancer among natural compounds. Orchids were in the center of attention of the scientists of Institute of Biology and Biomedicine of Nizhny Novgorod State University of Lobachevsky (IBBM of NNSU). In orchid tubers, the scientists have revealed lupeol and squalane - compounds which have antitumor activity.
So, lupeol inhibits the growth and prevents metastasis of head and neck cancer. Its antitumor activity is even higher than the today’s drugs used for chemotherapy. Squalene reacts with water to release oxygen and saturates cells with it. Squalene can act as an anti-microbial, an anti-carcinogenic and a fungicidal agent.