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Taking two new chemotherapy drugs towards clinical trials

  • Researcher: Dr Juan Carlos Morales
  • Institution: CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Award Amount: £185,720 for 3 years from 1st January 2016
  • Cancer Type: Bowel Cancer
Taking two new chemotherapy drugs towards clinical trials
Dr Juan Carlos Morales is trying to develop new and improved treatments for bowel cancer. He told us “Our aim is to evaluate the scope of two potential chemotherapy drugs, MAR-308 and MAR-320, designed to work against a new cancer drug target called a DNA G-quadruplex. Preliminary studies of the drugs have shown an extremely high efficiency against breast and bowel cancers grown in the lab. The drugs also showed very low toxicity against healthy cells. This high selectivity could reduce their side effects if given to patients. The selectivity seems to be due to the entrance of the drugs through glucose transporters that are highly expressed on tumour cells but not healthy ones.

We propose to translate these lab based findings into a potential cancer treatment by studying the effects of the drugs in animal models of bowel cancer. Furthermore, we will evaluate whether they have the right chemical properties to be a future drug. Finally, we will study in detail the exact way MAR-308 and MAR-320 work inside cells in order to redesign these compounds and increase their chances of success.”
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