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OSU College of Pharmacy Researchers Featured in Terra Magazine Cancer Article by Lee Sherman


Unraveling the tangled threads of a stealthy disease

Posted February 13 – Article by Lee Sherman

Several potential new weapons are under the microscope at Oregon State University.

9.24.2014_1Biomedical researchers at OSU College of Pharmacy are investigating the curative powers of a rare marine organism discovered on a Panamanian reef by natural-products chemist Kerry McPhail in 2008. After McPhail’s discovery, Jane Ishmael teamed up with the university’s natural products team and found that “coibamide A” induces death in human glioblastoma cells.


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Another team in the College of Pharmacy is working with Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University and Knight Cancer Institute on targeting tumors intravenously via nano particles loaded with drugs. The team of Oleh Taratula, Adam Alani, Gaurav Sahay, and Conroy Sun has the mission to develop nanotechnologies for delivering anticancer drugs directly to a tumor, thus avoiding chemotherapy’s indiscriminate, whole-body barrage of chemicals. Learn more about this “active targeting” from a previous article here.

Still, Dr. Christine Löhr of the College of Veterinary Medicine, with the help of her colleague Dr. Shay Bracha, a veterinary oncologist, are part of a multidisciplinary team looking for “biomarkers” in airborne vapors from the lungs that indicate disease. Their goal is to design a simple screening tool for use in the field or the clinic. “He calls it ‘point-of-care’ diagnostics. ‘For us as clinicians,’ he says, ‘it will be extremely helpful to have something we can do quickly, cheaply and reliably without expensive instrumentation.'”

In all, 60 scientists and social scientists at OSU are investigating some aspect of cancer.

Read the rest of the article here!