Title

How to kill a cancer cell

Poster Number

21

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

For much of the 20th century, treating cancer (tumors that can not be surgically removed and cancers of blood cells) meant targeting their genetic material in the hope that this would lead the cancer cells to initiate self-destruction. Cancer cells are more likely to die from DNA damage because they are multiplying rapidly and have less time for DNA repair. Drugs and radiation which cause DNA damage send many cancers into remission. This happens because the damage activates a series of cellular processes (“pathways”) which lead to an ordered form of self- destruction called “apoptosis”. However, cancers are notorious for having mutations in one or more of the proteins that execute cellular self-destruction, which is the reason why radiation or chemotherapy often fails in advanced cancers. We are studying the mechanisms for how two potential anti-cancer drugs work, because they don’t seem to require DNA damage or follow the classical pathway for inducing the self destruction of cancer cells. Our poster will show examples of our recent research results and work in progress.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

5-5-2007 1:00 PM

End Date

5-5-2007 3:00 PM

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 3:00 PM

How to kill a cancer cell

Pacific Geosciences Center

For much of the 20th century, treating cancer (tumors that can not be surgically removed and cancers of blood cells) meant targeting their genetic material in the hope that this would lead the cancer cells to initiate self-destruction. Cancer cells are more likely to die from DNA damage because they are multiplying rapidly and have less time for DNA repair. Drugs and radiation which cause DNA damage send many cancers into remission. This happens because the damage activates a series of cellular processes (“pathways”) which lead to an ordered form of self- destruction called “apoptosis”. However, cancers are notorious for having mutations in one or more of the proteins that execute cellular self-destruction, which is the reason why radiation or chemotherapy often fails in advanced cancers. We are studying the mechanisms for how two potential anti-cancer drugs work, because they don’t seem to require DNA damage or follow the classical pathway for inducing the self destruction of cancer cells. Our poster will show examples of our recent research results and work in progress.