February 27, 2014 - 12:00 am
What if we could engineer a molecule to target cancer cells but leave healthy cells unharmed? Professor Patrick Gunning seeks to do just that with his latest research to design a molecule that targets a cancer-promoting protein called STAT3. STAT3 is hyperactivated in over 70% of all human cancers and plays a key role in tumour formation, survival and drug resistance. In the last three years, Gunning has developed a powerful family of molecules that disable the STAT3 protein and stops the spread of numerous cancers while leaving healthy cells untouched. In particular, lead compounds generated in his lab have been shown to potently and selectively reverse tumour growth and survival in living systems of brain cancer, multiple myeloma and breast cancer.