Journal club of the week: anticancer drugs and respective mechanisms

Journal club of the week: anticancer drugs and respective mechanisms

Speaker: Ms. Adile Ayati the PhDs in chemistry

Date: 8st february, 2016

Topic: anticancer drugs and respective mechanisms

 In the 2/08/2016 journal meeting, Ms. Adile Ayati the PhDs in chemistry introduced the participants to different anticancer drugs and their respective mechanisms involved in the remission of cancer. She talked about some newer anticancer drugs (for example, various monoclonal antibodies) that are not indiscriminately cytotoxic, but rather target proteins that are abnormally expressed in cancer cells and are essential for their growth. Such treatments are often referred to as targeted therapy (as distinct from classical chemotherapy) and are often used alongside traditional chemotherapeutic agents in antineoplastic treatment regimens. She also described that chemotherapy may use one drug at a time (single-agent chemotherapy) or several drugs at once (combination chemotherapy or polychemotherapy). The combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is chemoradiotherapy. Chemotherapy using drugs that convert to cytotoxic activity only upon light exposure is called photochemotherapy. She briefly talk about the different types/class of chemotherapeutic agents such as alkylating agents that are the oldest group of chemotherapeutics in use today. This ability to bind covalently to DNA via their alkyl group is the primary cause for their anti-cancer effects. DNA is made of two strands and the molecules may either bind twice to one strand of DNA (intrastrand crosslink) or may bind once to both strands (interstrand crosslink). If the cell tries to replicate crosslinked DNA during cell division, or tries to repair it, the DNA strands can break like cisplatin. Anti-metabolites are a group of molecules that impede DNA and RNA synthesis. Many of them have a similar structure to the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Methotrexate inhibits dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), an enzyme that regenerates tetrahydrofolate from dihydrofolate like pentostatin. Anti-microtubule agents are plant-derived chemicals that block cell division by preventing micortubule function. Micro-tubules are an important cellular structure composed of two proteins; alpha tubulin and beta tubulin. Topoisomease inhibitors are drugs that affect the activity of two enzymes: topoisomerase I and II. This group includes novobiocin. At the end all participants asked their valuable questions and she answered all the questions. At last but not the least Prof Abdollahi summarized the whole topic which is very controversial in this new era.