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IMAGE: Insights into the biological evaluation of pterocarpanquinones and carbapterocarpans with anti-tumor activity against MDR leukemias. view more 

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Credit: Dr. Vivian M Rumjanek et al., Bentham Science Publishers

Careful thinking must be put since the very first days of the design of a new drug candidate to consider variables such as cost-effectiveness, novelty, side effects and the peculiarity of the disease to be treated. Cancer, as a multifactorial sum of diseases, present challenges since its high mutational background often grants tumor cells varying mechanisms to sustain cellular proliferation. Our group, consisting on researchers with different backgrounds as well, resorted to nature to find chemical groups that would present good in vivo tolerance with possibilities for further development. Pterocarpans, secondary metabolites derived mainly from isoflavonoids of the Papilionoideae subfamily of the Leguminosae plant family, served this purpose. They possess anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic properties along with a highly ‘moddable’ scaffold comprising phenolic rings. Addition of two prime pharmacophores such as naphthoquinones and sulfonamides added new mechanisms of antineoplastic action, since the first display prooxidant activity and the latter are described to inhibit tubulin polymerization and tyrosine kinases. Considering this, the resulting molecules LQB-118 and LQB-223 would likely induce toxicity to a variety of

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