Cancer is one of the most affective disease that has affected the human race. This disease is the leading cause of death for humans due to its high spread through the world. It has caused a lot of people to go through traumatic events and others to lose loved ones. In addition, leukemia, which is blood cancer, is the most aggressive form of cancer. It has survival rates of almost zero and will definitely negatively affect the patients.
However, this disease motivated a team of chemistry researchers from Oregon State University, led by an associate professor of chemistry in OSU’s College of Science, called Christopher Beaudry, to find a cure for leukemia. Finding a cure is hard to do, but they were able to develop the first steps into finding a drug for leukemia that will lower the need for chemotherapy and will be affective against the disease.
The drug created was developed from an Asian tree making it the first Anti-Leukemia drug. It consists of a compound made of cephalotaxine and homoharringtonine (HHT) which are natural substances which are inexpensive. Dr. Christopher was proud of his development stating, “We want to partner with industry so we don’t have to grow trees to get this anymore and maybe we can come up with a more potent protein translation inhibitor, or a more selective inhibitor. There’s also a chance this molecule can find application in blocking bacterial protein synthesis, which would be useful for treating antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”