After 10 years of research, one groundbreaking creation.
A pair of researchers at Boise State University have developed proteins that can effectively kill 58 of the 60 types of tumors found in the National Cancer Institute's NCI-60 panel of cancer cells.
"Most of the drugs now, target the reproductive machinery of the cell," said Dr. Greg Hampikian, BSU professor and researcher. "So when you kill cancer, you're messing up the cell's ability to copy itself."
Professors and researchers Abdelkrim Alileche and Greg Hampikian developed the two drugs, 9R and 9S1, that take a different approach to fighting cancer cells.
"What we're doing instead is targeting the energy," Hampikian said. "Bring down the energy and starve the cancer cell of energy."
The researchers say these two drug candidates could help protect nine organ systems in the NCI-60 panel -- including kidney, ovary, skin melanoma, lung, brain, colon, prostate and hematopoietic system.
"Just to find a small peptide capable of killing all of these cells that grow very rapidly is very exciting," Hampikian said.
While this treatment holds promising for fighting cancer in humans, the researchers say it will be a few years before testing advances to that stage.