Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich report that a new class of chemical compounds makes cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs. They have also pinpointed the relevant target enzyme, thus identifying a new target for anti-tumor agents. Researchers led by LMU’s Professor Angelika Vollmar and Professor Stephan Sieber of the Technische Universität München have identified a class of chemicals that represent a potential new weapon in the fight against malignant tumors.

The compound is itself non-toxic, but it stimulates the killing of rapidly dividing cells by chemotherapeutic drugs. This sensitizing effect means that the latter can be used in lower doses, which makes it less likely that the target cells will become resistant to their lethal effect. The work was carried out by an interdisciplinary collaboration made up of scientists from LMU, TUM and the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, and the results appear in the latest issue of the journal “Angewandte Chemie – International Edition”.

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