Scientists Identify New Potential Cancer Drug

Our Guest Blogger, Mariella Moon, is a tech blogger by professional training and a biologist by education. She wanted to share the latest medical innovations with the readers of

Here's her article:

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The MI-219 (colored blue) binds to MDM2 (colored purple) and prevents its inhibiting of the p53 protein (shown in the background).The MI-219 (colored blue) binds to MDM2 (colored purple) and prevents its inhibiting of the p53 protein (shown in the background).


Cancer has always been a big issue for me since various forms of the disease had claimed quite a few of my blood relations. That's why it pleases me whenever new milestones in cancer research are reached. Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are able to accomplish what cancer researchers have been trying to for years -- finding a potent cancer drug which doesn't kill normal cells as it does tumor cells.

A collaborative effort among cancer-centric institutions brought about the MI-219 -- a small molecule designed to help prevent the inhibition of the protein p53, which is our body's natural tumor suppressor. You see, in cancer patients, the p53 protein does not function correctly. Either of these two scenarios could be in effect: a) the p53 is mutated or missing entirely OR b) a protein called the human MDM2 binds to p53 and inhibits its natural tumor suppressor function.

While a similar drug for the former scenario is yet to be designed, the MI-219 molecule seems to display a promising future for those who belong to the latter group. Aside from its capability to block the binding of MDM2 to p53, MI-219 can also, in itself, act as a tumor suppressor by harnessing p53's functionality. What's great about MI-219 is that it could be manufactured to be taken orally instead of intravenously like the existing chemotherapy drugs today. And since it doesn't kill healthy, normal cells, the side effects felt due to use of traditional cancer drugs would be virtually non-existent.

Tested on animals, it was able to exhibit tumor suppression without causing any kind of toxicity. Scientists project that in the future, MI-219 has the potential to inhibit tumor growth of a variety of cancer types in humans. However, as much as we're all excited to see the revolutionary MI-219 in the market as a drug, it's still in its preclinical stages with the University of Michigan applying for its and its related molecules' patent. Although it might be a while before we see an MI-219-based drug with our own eyes, my hopes for better chances at cancer survival have been refueled. I wish yours have been as well.


Mariella Moon
Guest Blogger

Mar 9, 2008
by Anonymous

curative cancee

Good day to you maa'm,i am Rowell Bahia,student nurse of Southwestern University here in the Phillipines. I appreciate your discovery about the new drug for cancer,and i was expecting that people with cancer will be surprised for this new drug for cancer so that they will have enough strength to fight cancer.

Mar 17, 2008
by Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon's picture

Hi Rowell, Unfortunately,

Hi Rowell,

Unfortunately, I'm not exactly the one who discovered this new potential cancer drug. Props should go to MIT.