Quest for better breast cancer drugs

November 27, 2006

Breast cancer sufferers could eventually benefit from high-tuned, tailor-made drug treatments that minimise side effects as a result of a joint initiative between computer scientists in Edinburgh and cellular biologists in Japan.

The five-year project, which involves the University of Edinburgh and the Riken Genomic Research Centre in Japan, will initially look at why particular treatments for breast cancer work in some patients and not in others.

It will use advanced computer systems set up at the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics to run programmes incorporating expertise from cellular biologists in Japan to better understand the make-up of particular drugs and why their effectiveness differs among patients.

It is hoped that the database, which will use clinical information from patients at the Edinburgh Breast Unit and Cancer Research Centre, will be able to narrow down the different types of drugs that should be prescribed to individual patients and what types of combination therapy would have the best outcome.

The database could also provide information for creating new drugs, with computer modelling becoming an integral part of medical research.

Igor Goryanin, director of the Edinburgh Centre for Bioinformatics, based at the University, said: "The computer systems will help the biologist to understand the function of the organisms and, with this knowledge, we will be able to predict more accurately which new and existing drugs work and why.

"We would hope to further our research further and look at other cancers as well as diseases such as heart disease and neural and psychiatric diseases. Identifying which drugs have the best responses in particular patients would not only save lives but would also save the NHS money as treatment with expensive drugs can be tailor-made for whom it works."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Drugs Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

Wallflowers could lead to new drugs
Plant-derived chemicals called cardenolides - like digitoxin - have long been used to treat heart disease, and have shown potential as cancer therapies.

Bristol pioneers use of VR for designing new drugs
Researchers at the University of Bristol are pioneering the use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool to design the next generation of drug treatments.

Towards better anti-cancer drugs
The Bayreuth biochemist Dr. Claus-D. Kuhn and his research team have deciphered how the important human oncogene CDK8 is activated in cells of healthy individuals.

Separating drugs with MagLev
The composition of suspicious powders that may contain illicit drugs can be analyzed using a quick and simple method called magneto-Archimedes levitation (MagLev), according to a new study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

People are more likely to try drugs for the first time during the summer
American teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in the summer, a new study shows.

Drugs used to enhance sexual experiences, especially in UK
Combining drugs with sex is common regardless of gender or sexual orientation, reveals new research by UCL and the Global Drug Survey into global trends of substance-linked sex.

Promising new drugs for old pathogen Mtb
UConn researchers are targeting a metabolic pathway, the dihydrofolate reductase pathway, crucial for amino acid synthesis to treat TB infections.

Can psychedelic drugs heal?
Many people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

New uses for existing antiviral drugs
Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs work against a range of viral diseases, but developing them can be costly and time consuming.

Read More: Drugs News and Drugs Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.