Keep up on the latest from Thermo Fisher Scientific with the new Life in the Lab issue. Read stories from your colleagues, learn about our innovative products, and enjoy scientainment articles. Read the current issue
Read our interview with Amy Twite, PhD, director of chemistry for Valitor, Inc., about how she is working to improve the availability of biologics to treat diseases such as wet macular degeneration and cancer.
Read a Q&A with Catharine Young, PhD - the senior director of science policy for the Biden Cancer Initiative, championing scientists and their impactful work in cancer research.
Blast from the past quiz
Find out how much you know about the role technology has played scientific breakthroughs throughout history. Start the quiz
Your Trailblazing Total
Print the sheet below and mark your promoters (and detractors!) How high is your score?
Do you remember playing Mad Libs? Grab a labmate and get ready for laughs with this science-y version. Fill in the fun now ›
DID YOU KNOW?
Chemotherapy’s roots in nature
The plant kingdom has been a source of clinical anticancer agents for decades. In fact, the NationalCancer Institute (NCI) has screened approximately35,000 plant species to date for potential anticancer activities. Naturally derived compounds attack cancer cells during various phases of division. Did you know that some of today’s well-known chemotherapies started as plant-based discoveries?
- Taxanes—derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree, Taxus brevifolia, paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere) are antimicrotubule agents for the treatment of breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and non-small cell lung cancer.
- Vinca alkaloids—obtained from the Madagascar periwinkle plant, Catharanthus roseus, vinblastine (VBL), vinorelbine (VRL) vincristine, and vindesine (VDS) are the four major alkaloids in clinical use. These are also microtubule disrupters, and they’ve been used to fight breast, bone and blood cancers.
- Camptothecin—extracted from the bark of the Chinese “Happy Tree,” Camptotheca acuminata, this topoisomerase inhibitor has been used in antitumor activity.
- Podophyllotoxins—first produced from a near-extinct Indian mayapple plant, Podophyllum emodi, these compounds and derivatives such as etoposide (Etopophos) are another class of topoisomerase inhibitors used to treat small-cell lung, blood, and testicular cancers.
- Anthracyclines—from the soil fungus Streptomyces, antibiotics such as doxorubicin (rubex) is an intercalating DNA agent with antitumor properties used in the treatment of breast and ovarian carcinomas.
- Curr Drug Metab (2008) 9:581–591.
- Int J Pharm Sci Res (2015) 6:4103–4112.
- Int J Prev Med (2013) 4:1231–1235.
- Bioorg Med Chem Lett (2017) 27:701–707.
- ScienceDaily American Society for Horticultural Science (2009) September 8.
- J Cancer Ther (2015) 6:849–858.
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