Peptide Makes Cancer Treatments Better

May 21, 2010

In a transformative paper published in the May 21 issue of the journal Science, Erkki Ruoslahti, distinguished professor, Kazuki Sugahara, and fellow researchers at UCSB's MCDB department and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, have shown that a chain of amino acids (called the iRGD peptide), when co-administered with anti-cancer drugs in mice, make those drugs more effective by guiding them to solid tumors and helping them penetrate deeply into tumor tissue. The peptide was shown to improve treatment against human breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, providing the same therapeutic effect with one-third the normal dose. The ability to precisely target tumors, and distribute medicine throughout tumors, could enhance treatment and reduce both side effects and drug resistance.

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