BSU professors create cancer-killing drugs

Scientists say the new drug killed 58 out of 60 cancer cells tested.

BOISE - Boise State University researchers have created anti-cancer drugs that are effective at killing tumors.

The two drugs were tested on 60 types of tumors and killed 58.

"Oh! It's mind blowing. To see that this actually worked?! Because it was really an off-the-wall idea," Dr. Greg Hampikian said.

Hampikian and fellow researcher Abdelkrim Alileche started playing with DNA to create combinations that were possible, but didn't exist.

"Maybe they don't exist because they're bad for living organisms. What do you want to kill? Well, if you're  a researcher who is interested in medical issues you want to kill cancer and bacteria," Hampikian said.

They took the DNA they created and tested it on cancer cells and discovered it kills the cancer.  It's effective in nine different organ systems and different stages of the disease.

"They drop the energy level of the cancer cells very, very rapidly. Almost instantly," he said. "The anthrax toxin is the only thing that works as quickly on cells. We were really surprised that that was the effect."

This is still in early stages and it will be years before it's used in a study on humans.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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