New class of drugs may kill tumors by altering structure of crucial enzyme

A new class of cancer drugs under development by startup Amitech Therapeutic Solutions has shown promise in recent lab and animal research by binding to and altering the structure of an enzyme known as RAF. This process appears to bring cell division in the most proliferative tumors to a screeching halt. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center identified the novel approach and produced the new NIH-funded study, which is detailed in the Nov. 13 online issue of Nature Medicine. Existing RAF inhibitors bind to the active site of the enzyme rather than changing it and can be toxic to cancer patients or cause side effects, the researchers said. Release

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