A new paradigm for the discovery of anti-cancer drugs based on tumour RNA disruption

While chemotherapy drugs are effective in combating tumour growth in cancer patients, many such drugs permit the development of drug-resistant tumours and progression of the disease. We have observed that several chemotherapy agents induce the degradation of tumour cell ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the laboratory and in cancer patients. We have further shown that this RNA degradation is associated with complete tumour destruction after-treatment. Our recently developed assay to quantify RNA degradation in tumour cells may thus prove to be a very sensitive, quantitative, high throughput, and preferred method for the discovery of anti-cancer drugs that will commit tumours to complete destruction. The study to be performed by the intern will assess this hypothesis in comparison to the current “gold standard” for anti-cancer drug discovery (the “clonogenic” assay).

Samantha Innocente
Faculty Supervisor: 
Carita Lanner
Partner University: