World Cancer Day 2017

04 February 2017

We can. I can. That is the message that is spread during World Cancer Day, on 4 February. How can you – as a collective or as an individual – take action to reduce the global burden of cancer? The European Lead Factory currently has 34 programmes that focus on various targets related to cancer. In these programmes innovative approaches are used to find starting points for new drugs to fight this disease. 

One of the programmes is run by the University of Dundee. The programme, which currently is in the high-throughput screening phase, focuses on escape mechanisms cancer cells use to evade the effects of chemotherapy. Programme owner Dr Andrew Pannifer clarified ‘Cancer cells that are under metabolic stress, for instance caused by chemotherapy, develop various mechanisms, which reduce the efficacy of the treatment.’ The researchers at the University of Dundee are exploiting an enzyme that can be inhibited and that way shut down one of these escape mechanisms. It would make current treatment more effective and more potentially more tolerable. “Existing tool compounds are not potent enough, that’s why we turned to the European Lead Factory to screen the Joint European Compound Library. ‘It’s very good that we can use our local expertise network in this area for novel drug discovery at the European Lead Factory.’

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