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Posts tagged with "Cancer"

  • Cancer

    Watch Your Covalent Drugs Carefully

    EGFR is a growth-factor receptor protein that’s well known as a cancer target, and there are a number of drugs that target its kinase activity in order to shut it down. But as is also well known, many cancer cells are rather genomically unstable, and throw off mutations constantly. One of the most common problems… Read More
  • Cancer

    A Painful, Unacceptable Lack of Data

    Okay, this paper is not going to make a lot of people happy. The authors are reviewing oncology approvals by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from 2009 to 2013 – overall, there were 48 drugs approved for 68 indications, which sounds like good news. 24 of the 68 were approved with survival benefit shown in… Read More
  • Cancer

    There Are Probes, And There Are Probes

    A friend in the business called my attention to this paper, which is about another piece of the ubiquitination system that I was writing about here just the other day – in this case, the deubiquitinating enzyme Rpn11. There are a couple of classes of deubiquitinators – some of them use a cysteine in their… Read More
  • Cancer

    Bacteria Can Make Tumors Worse

    Since the topic of bacteria effects on human disease came up here just the other day, I wanted to point out a new article that comes at this idea from a different direction. This research got going when cells from pancreatic and colon tumor samples were co-cultured with human dermal fibroblasts. The cancer cell lines… Read More
  • 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
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