Team tackles new drug design for cancer

Australian scientists, who have been studying a key protein that controls the spread of blood cancer cells when it is damaged, are now designing a drug they say can stop the cancer--along with asthma and other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The therapy is being designed to attach itself to the protein and inhibit signals spurring cancer cells to multiply.

"If we can stop the signal for the proliferation of uncontrolled growth of the cells then we can stop the leukemia in its tracks," said Professor Michael Parker at St. Vincent's Institute in Melbourne. "Normally in drug design it would be 15 years from start to finish but, because of the nature of the surface we have to split apart, the way ahead is antibodies--and that is very straightforward technology. So I would expect the drug development would be a lot faster."

- read the report in the Herald Sun