Our network

Van Andel Institute research to help with cancer antibiotics |

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Van Andel Institute research to help with cancer antibiotics
Van Andel Institute research to help with cancer antibiotics

(WZZM/Van Andel Institute) - You may not realize it, but antibiotics are used to fight cancer.  In fact, they have been used by doctors since the 1950s to successfully treat several forms of cancer.  Now new research here in West Michigan could make those drugs even safer in the future.

The Van Andel Research Institute just published a study that looks at how one specific anti-cancer antibiotic works.  The antibiotic is called Geldanamycin.  They also looked at one of the drug's modified forms.

That drug never made it to clinical trials because of its side effects, mainly liver failure.  But in pre-clinical testing, it was shown to selectively kill many forms of cancer.

Researchers say they determined how the antibiotic works in more detail and have uncovered a possible explanation for its side effects.  Derivatives of the drug were developed to decrease toxicity and are still being evaluated.

Researchers say if their work leads to a less toxic form of the drug, it could be a major breakthrough in fighting cancer. 

“If there is a chance of decreasing the toxicity of Geldanamycin and 17AAG, it would be a boon in the treatment of cancer,” said George Vande Woude, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at VARI that published the study. 

The study could also help with future drug design by helping to eliminate severe side effects.

Grand Rapids Central Deals