Drug for pancreatic cancer developed by college of pharmacy researchers
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IMAGE: University of Houston researchers Ruiwen Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert L. Boblitt Endowed Professor in Drug Discovery, left, and research associate professor of pharmacology Wei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., have… view more 

Credit: University of Houston

A treatment for highly aggressive and commonly fatal pancreatic cancer is being developed, reports a University of Houston researcher who has designed a new medicine that can inhibit two of the major pathways of the deadly disease. Ruiwen Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert L. Boblitt Endowed Professor in Drug Discovery, has published his findings, along with research associate professor of pharmacology Wei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., in Cancer Research Journal.

“There is an unmet clinical need for new, effective and safe drugs for pancreatic cancer therapy. Our discovery represents a significant advance in cancer research,” said Zhang. “Most drugs only target one factor. We identified a single compound that targets two linked genes that cause cancer.”

The drug would be a first-in-class, new therapy for pancreatic cancer and a new conceptual framework for developing other drugs.

Pancreatic cancer is characterized by early metastasis and a poor response to chemotherapy. Gemcitabine, a chemotherapy drug with only modest clinical benefit, remains one of the mainstays of

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