New two-pronged approach to identify drugs against cancer: by inducing errors when cancer cells divide their chromosomes, as seen here, and by inhibiting telomerase. Image: Mar Carmena and Emma Peat
New screening approach identifies drugs that disrupt division of cancer cells - health short science news

Scientists have developed a new way of compound screening that may lead to the identification of new drugs to combat cancer. The selection process builds upon an already existing approach that is designed to target the enzyme telomerase, which helps to protect chromosomes from damage. In the new screening approach, scientists look for drugs that not only inhibit telomerase, but also induce errors in the DNA when cancer cells divide. These drugs can now easily be identified when testing them on artificial human chromosomes that have fluorescent markers built in. Next, the drugs are tested in real cancer cells to determine their precise effects on chromosome division. It is hoped that future drugs identified with this approach will be more effective than already existing drugs.

Read the full story: University of Edinburgh
Scientific publication: Cancer Research