New anti-cancer drugs may be available soon

Cancer has proven to be a hard code to crack. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is profit. The pharmaceutical companies have been wary to spend money developing expensive cancer drugs that they might not be able to make a large amount of money off of. This has made advances difficult on the cancer research front.

This has left nonprofits and universities to pick up the slack. Fortunately, a large nonprofit, the Scripps Institute, has stepped in to fill the void and they may have hit gold.

It turns out that nature itself may have provided the answer that we needed. The scientists at the Scripps Institute discovered a class of natural products called tiancimycins, which are capable of killing certain kinds of cancer.

The currently FDA approved drugs use toxic molecules to kill the cancer, which have the side effect of killing healthy cells. In the case of the TNMs, they appear to specifically target the cancer cells and leave the healthy cells alone. This is the Holy Grail of cancer research, and really in drug research in general.

The researchers have additionally discovered potential anti-tumor drugs from natural products. This, if it ends up working out, would truly be a great advance for pharmaceuticals and ironically it is an advance that was made outside the pharmaceutical industry.

Perhaps it is time for us to rethink how we do drug research.


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