Designing a new drug against pancreatic cancer


Stopping the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer is the focus of a new project led by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire and funded by the Association for International Cancer Research.

Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer in the UK, around 8,500 people were diagnosed in 2010. It is an aggressive cancer that very few people survive from – only around four per cent of pancreatic cancer patients survive for five years or more, making it one of the lowest survival rates. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the cancer has become very aggressive and it quickly spreads to other organs of the body. Currently there is no effective treatment for the disease at this advanced stage.

Dr Sharon Rossiter, principal investigator and medicinal chemist at the University of Hertfordshire’s Department of Pharmacy, said: “We are investigating potential new drugs to block a protein called S100P which has been shown to be involved in the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer, as well as some other common cancers.

“We will be designing the new drugs using a computer model of the protein to identify novel compounds that will bind to the protein and prevent it from functioning. Once we have tested their effects on cancer cells, we will make changes to the compounds in the laboratory to improve their effectiveness at preventing cancer growth.”

The aim of this new research project is to identify the best possible drug compounds which will hopefully eventually lead to a successful drug treatment for pancreatic cancer.

This research project is a collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire and Barts Cancer Institute, London. It marks the first funding award that the Association for International Cancer Research has made to researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Julie Cooper, University of Hertfordshire Press Office on 01707 284095, Email: j.cooper5@herts.ac.uk

World Cancer Day – 4 February 2013 - http://www.worldcancerday.org/

“Design of inhibitors of S100P, a protein implicated in pancreatic cancer progression” is a three-year research project funded by the Association for International Cancer Research.

Notes to Editor

About the University of Hertfordshire

The University is the UK’s leading business-facing university and an exemplar in the sector.  It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel.  The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,300 staff and a turnover of almost £231 million.

With a student community of over 27,700 including more than 2,900 international students from over eighty-five different countries, the University has a global network of over 170,000 alumni.  

The University of Hertfordshire was awarded ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2010’ by the Times Higher Education (THE) and ranks in the top 4% of all universities in the world according to the recent THE, World University Rankings.

For more information, please visit www.herts.ac.uk

Did you know….? Over 3,700 new teachers have qualified from the university of Hertfordshire in the last 10 years – We are open minds!

Find out more at  go.herts.ac.uk/didyouknow

About the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR)

AICR receives no government grants and relies totally on fundraising for its income. Unlike many UK-based charities, AICR does not confine its support to within this country. It is the leading charity funding cancer research anywhere in the world.

AICR currently funds 208 active projects: 88 in the UK and 120 Overseas. That’s 204 scientists, across 18 countries.

The 18 countries currently holding grants are: Australia (16); Canada (2); Denmark (3); Finland (2); France (9); Germany (5); Greece (4); Israel (4); Italy (28); Netherlands (15); Portugal (1); Spain (16); Sweden (3); Switzerland (6); USA (6);  UK:- England (69); Scotland (16); Wales (3).

For further information about AICR’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 01334 477910 or visit www.aicr.org.uk . Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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• The University of Hertfordshire is the UK’s leading business-facing University and an exemplar in the sector. It is innovative and enterprising and challenges individuals and organisations to excel. • The University of Hertfordshire is one of the region’s largest employers with over 2,425 staff and a turnover of more than £234 million. With a student community of over 25,100 including more than 2,900 international students from over 120 different countries, the University has a global network of over 175,000 alumni. For more information, please visit www.herts.ac.uk • The University of Hertfordshire was awarded the Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2010’.

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Quotes

We are investigating potential new drugs to block a protein called S100P which has been shown to be involved in the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer, as well as some other common cancers
Dr Sharon Rossiter, principal investigator and medicinal chemist at the University of Hertfordshire’s Department of Pharmacy