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Developing drugs for repairing a protein that is key in cancer prevention

  • Researcher: Professor Hartmut Luecke
  • Institution: University of Oslo, Norway
  • Award Amount: £214,650 for 3 years from 1st February 2018
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Developing drugs for repairing a protein that is key in cancer prevention
Professor Hartmut Luecke at the University of Oslo is using funding from Worldwide Cancer Research to develop new drugs that can reactivate a defunct protein found in over 50% of all cancers. A drug that can kick this protein, called p53, back into action has the potential to be a highly targeted treatment for many different types of cancer.

Using their expertise in biochemistry, the Luecke lab have already produced drug molecules that are able to correct a common fault in p53, which they now want to take forward with further testing. Ultimately, they hope to identify the most effective drug molecule that in the future could be taken into clinical trials. The team will start off by creating a variety of drug molecules with slightly different chemical structures to find out which one is the most effective at reactivating p53. They will then test how good this drug is at killing cancer cells in the lab – a necessary stage before the drug can be tested in animals and then patients.
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