In DepthBiomedicine

A colorful chemotherapy agent could be made less toxic

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Science  03 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6499, pp. 18
DOI: 10.1126/science.369.6499.18

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Summary

Doxorubicin, an old chemotherapy drug known as "the red devil" because of its distinctive hue and toxicity, remains a key treatment for many cancer patients. But a new study reports the drug can be tweaked to reduce its most punishing side effect, cardiac damage, without blunting its ability to curb tumors. The work, from a team in the Netherlands, upends conventional thinking about doxorubicin and related drugs, suggesting they do not need to directly damage DNA to kill cancer cells. The Dutch team now plans to test two potentially safer versions of doxorubicin's drug class in people. But the scientists have found little corporate interest, and one onlooker is skeptical of their plan to develop the drugs on their own.

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