Researchers identify new target, develop new drug for cancer therapies


Opening up a new pathway to fight cancer, researchers have found a way to target an enzyme that is crucial to tumor growth while also blocking the mechanism that has made past attempts to target that enzyme resistant to treatment. Researchers were able to use this finding to develop a drug that successfully inhibits tumor growth of melanoma as well as pancreatic and colorectal cancer in mice.

Treatment-resistant melanoma may be vulnerable to a drug holiday, study finds


A new study has uncovered the mechanisms by which treatment-resistant melanoma become vulnerable to cessation of a class of drugs called MAP kinase (MAPK)-targeted inhibitors. By identifying these mechanisms, the scientists discovered that therapeutic benefits for patients could derive from a one-two punch of a drug holiday of MAPK inhibitors followed by a class of drugs called DNA repair inhibitors.

Antimalarial drug combined with light sensitive molecules for promising treatment of cancer


Scientists have discovered that a combination of artemisinin, which is a potent anti-malarial drug, and aminolaevulinic acid, which is a photosensitizer, could kill colorectal cancer cells and suppress tumor growth more effectively than administering artemisinin alone. This novel combination therapy could also have fewer side effects.

Asthma drug from the garden center


The coralberry could offer new hope for asthmatics: researchers have extracted a new kind of active pharmaceutical ingredient from its leaves to combat this widespread respiratory disease. In mice, it almost completely inhibits the characteristic contraction of the airways. The plant itself is not exotic: it can be found in any well-stocked garden center.

Do we need to reform international drug treaties as more countries legalize cannabis?


The future of international drug control treaties is in doubt because of recent treaty-violating decisions to legalize cannabis use in Canada, the United States and Uruguay. A professor, whose 2014 review of 20 years of cannabis research made world headlines, thinks so. If decriminalization is the way of the future, he advocates a cautious approach to policy reform that would involve trialing and evaluating the effects of incrementally more liberal drug policies.