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New drug kills non-Hodgkin lymphoma tumor cells


Cancer DrugsA new type of drug designed to kill non-Hodgkin lymphoma tumor cells has been developed by researchers from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. The new drug targets an oncogene known as BLC6 which functions as a master regulatory protein and also causes the most common form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“It’s a protein that controls the production of thousands of other genes. Because of that, it has a very profound impact on cells and is required for lymphoma cells to survive and multiply,” said Dr. Melnick1).

Dr. Melnick ¬†and his colleagues were able to identify a “hot spot” on BLC6 that they predicted would play a critical role in protein interactions. They showed that their BCL6 inhibitor drug was specific to BCL6, and did not block other master regulatory proteins. The drug had powerful lymphoma killing activity and yet was non-toxic to normal tissues. “This is the first time a drug of this nature has been designed and it shows that it’s not actually impossible to target factors like BCL6,” he said.

1) Ari Melnick, M.D. – associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City

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