UÉvora develops molecules for cancer treatment

UÉvora develops molecules for cancer treatment


Treatment for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common type of lymphoma, "is a very important goal"

A research team led by Anthony Burke, a professor in the Chemistry department at the University of Évora, developed a series of small new molecules that show potential for the treatment of various types of cancer.

The development of these molecules with the potential to treat cancer and some lymphomas, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), has been patented at European level.

“A treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – the most common type of lymphoma – is a very important goal, as it affects many people”, explains the researcher from the eborense academy.

DLBCL is a malignant tumor of the lymphatic system in which the tumor cells are B lymphocytes

The developed molecules "show potential also for the treatment of this type of lymphoma, DLBCL", a malignant tumor of the lymphatic system in which the tumor cells are large B lymphocytes, which proliferate and infiltrate the ganglion in a diffuse way.

The results were obtained by Anthony Burke and Carolina Marques, researchers from the Molecular Synthesis group at UÉ, one of the 11 groups that are part of the Associated Laboratory for Green Chemistry (LAQV-REQUIMTE), in collaboration with international researchers from R&D Centers in Switzerland and Spain.

The new molecules "were synthesized using sustainable chemical methods with metallic catalysts", reveals the researcher. “They have a relatively simple chemical structure and are built by two heterocyclic rings (a compound that has a ring, which includes at least two different types of atoms), and in some cases they are chiral, that is, they cannot be superimposed on your mirror image (mirror), ”adds Burke.

Research in the field of chemistry is “absolutely fundamental” in the detection and treatment of cancer, a disease that is the second leading cause of death worldwide and which still has high rates of morbidity, considers the professor at the Department of Chemistry at UÉ, being "Lung, colorectal and lymphomas are the three most difficult types of cancer to treat".

"These molecules also show activity in the area of ​​Alzheimer's disease, mainly in the inhibition of an enzyme important for the progression of the disease called butyrylcholinesterase", highlights Anthony Burke, referring that the group published this study last year in the international journal Bioorganic Chemistry, also here in collaboration with foreign groups, from Spain, Italy and Germany.

Researchers want to move forward with pre-clinical studies soon

This is another step towards the development of new forms of cancer treatment, and researchers at the University of Évora (UÉ) are currently “identifying the molecular targets of these molecules to improve their structural characteristics and thus increase their pharmacological potency” , says Anthony Burke, so that soon "we can proceed with pre-clinical studies and be able to determine its potency in vivo and its general behavior in the organism of the animal".

Remember, the team of researchers led by Anthony Burke, among other scientific advances, has successfully produced a new inhibitor of the enzyme Cholinesterase, essential to ensure communication between neurons in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Innovative, this molecule presents only in its composition the beneficial active ingredient, therefore safer for the human organism.

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