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Posts tagged with "Cancer"

  • Cancer

    Repurposing Zika

    Oncology drives you to some pretty strange ideas about therapy. But that’s understandable – in what other field are you trying aggressively to kill off parts of the patient’s own body? That’s why chemotherapy started off with the study of people who had been exposed to mustard gas (during the Bari bombing raid), where it… Read More
  • Cancer

    What We Can Do, Versus What We Could

    I remember reading Barry Sharpless’ big “click” chemistry paper in 2001, where he proposed the term for reactions that take place rapidly, selectively, and without any outside reagents, and proposed such techniques for the rapid assembly of diverse molecules. In the years since, the term has drifted away a bit at times to mean … Read More
  • Business and Markets

    AstraZeneca Gets the Bad News

    After writing about Merck’s successes (so far) in immuno-oncology, it’s time to write about AstraZeneca’s failure. When the rumors started flying about Pascal Soriot leaving the company, one of the speculations was that the MYSTIC trial of the company’s PD-L1 (Imfinzi, durvalumab) and CTLA4 (trememelimab) therapies might be… Read More
  • Cancer

    The Keytruda Story

    This is a good history of Keytruda, the Merck immuno-oncology blockbuster, from David Shaywitz. Most big drugs have a tangled history, and this one is certainly not going to break tradition. As witness: It was discovered accidentally, by biotech scientists looking for drugs that would tamp down the immune response in patients with autoimmune diseas… Read More
  • Cancer

    Glioblastoma Is Bad News, Period

    Everyone keeping up with the news will have heard about Sen. McCain’s diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This is not good news at all; GBM is a very aggressive tumor type for which treatment options are poor. The contrast to ex-President Jimmy Carter’s brain cancer experience is stark, and many people outside the biomedical fi… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Chaos at AstraZeneca

    What on earth is going on over at AstraZeneca? The company has had plenty of wild ups and downs over the years, and managed to fight off a takeover attempt by Pfizer (and who else has managed that?) But in doing so, they made some pretty strong revenue projections (look what we’ll do if Pfizer… Read More
  • Cancer

    MTH1: From Hot Topic to Devalidation?

    Here’s an argument that’s been going on inside the oncology drug development world over the last few years: is the enzyme MTH1 a great cancer target or a complete waste of time? MTH1, also known as NUDT1, degrades phosphates of 8-oxoguanine, an oxidized form of the regular guanine that cells know and love. That enzymatic… Read More
  • Cancer

    How to Know When a New Target is Really a New Target

    This is an excellent article, and the title is self-recommending: “Common Pitfalls in Preclinical Cancer Target Validation”. The abstract speaketh the truth: An alarming number of papers from laboratories nominating new cancer drug targets contain findings that cannot be reproduced by others or are simply not robust enough to justify dr… Read More
  • Biological News

    ER-beta For Breast Cancer: Think Again

    OK, let’s talk about a breast cancer target, estrogen receptor-beta. It’s been the subject of a great deal of research over the years, but its exact actions have proven difficult to work out. One of the problems has been that there are a number of different antibodies available to locate it in tissue, but they… Read More
  • Cancer

    Why Did This IDO Inhibitor Trial Fail?

    Let’s put this one under the “This is why you run clinical trials” heading. A number of companies have looked at inhibitors of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) over the last few years. The enzyme turns tryptophan into kynurenine, a pathway which (among other things) regulates immune function. Evidence has accumulated that many… Read More