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Studying yeasts to identify new human targets for chemotherapy

  • Researcher: Professor Tony Carr
  • Institution: University of Sussex
  • Award Amount: £221,557 for 3 years from June 2012
  • Cancer Type: Leukaemia
Studying yeasts to identify new human targets for chemotherapy
Hydroxycarbamide is a drug that stops cells from making and repairing DNA, it affects a molecule called RNR. It is used as a common treatment in cancers that cause the abnormal growth of blood cells in the bone marrow, for example acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In AML it helps to reduce the number of cancerous cells but the disease cannot be controlled for very long, as resistance to the drug often occurs. The use of hydrocarbamide against other cancer types is also being investigated, but until now little is known about how it stops cancer cells from growing or how they become resistant to the drug. In yeasts, two mechanisms that control RNR have been identified and are widely known.

Now new research carried out by Professor Carr, also in yeast, has revealed a possible third mechanism. His Worldwide Cancer Research grant will be used to study how these three mechanisms work and attempt to find equivalent human molecules that could control RNR. This would potentially identify new molecules that could be turned on or off for use in chemotherapy.
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