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Alternative colorectal cancer drug found

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23 (UPI) -- U.S. medical scientists say they've found a compound that effectively treats colorectal cancer but with fewer side effects than with a commonly used drug.

The newly investigated compound, known as cDPCP, is an analogue of cisplatin, a potent anticancer agent. The study found cDPCP might better target colorectal cells, potentially sparing other body tissues from damage, said Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers.

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"This compound, the antitumor properties of which were established in mice over 20 years ago, emerged in our search for platinum anticancer drug candidates with cellular uptake properties analogous or superior to those of oxaliplatin," said Professor Stephen Lippard.

He said cDPCP could become an alternative to oxaliplatin, which was approved by the FDA in 2004 and is usually the first therapeutic line of defense against colorectal cancer -- the fifth most common cancer in the United States.

The study that include MIT graduate students Ryan Todd, Michael McCormick and Katherine Lovejoy; Shuzhong Zhang and Kathleen Giacomini of the University of California-San Francisco; J. Alejandro D'Aquino of Brandeis University; and Joyce Reardon and Aziz Sancar of the University of North Carolina appeared in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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