FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Thu Oct 03 11:14:22 EDT 2013

American Chemical Society podcast: A one-two punch against cancer

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 — The latest episode in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes the development and successful lab tests on the first potential drug to pack a lethal one-two punch against melanoma skin cancer cells.

Based on a report by Nathan Luedtke, Ph.D., in the journal ACS Chemical Biology, the new podcast is available without charge at iTunes and from www.acs.org/globalchallenges.

The drug has a dual activity. Hit number one destroys cells in the main tumor, and the second hit blocks the spread of the cancer to other sites in the body, according to the report.

Luedtke explains that the spread of melanoma and other forms of cancer beyond the original location — a process called metastasis — makes cancer such a serious disease. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves administering a drug that kills cancer cells when exposed to light, already is available. But PDT works only on the main tumor and has other drawbacks. Luedtke’s team set out to find an improved approach to PDT.

He describes successful tests in laboratory mice of one compound they synthesized. It not only killed melanoma cells, but also stopped them from metastasizing. The compound “provides the first example of a preclinical candidate possessing both of these properties,” he states.

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions is a series of podcasts describing some of the 21st century’s most daunting problems, and how cutting-edge research in chemistry matters in the quest for solutions. Global Challenges is the centerpiece in an alliance on sustainability between ACS and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Global Challenges is a sweeping panorama of global challenges that includes dilemmas such as providing a hungry and thirsty world with ample supplies of safe food and clean water, developing alternatives to petroleum to fuel society, preserving the environment and ensuring a sustainable future for our children and improving human health.

For more entertaining, informative science videos and podcasts from the ACS Office of Public Affairs, view Prized Science, Spellbound, Science Elements and Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.