Congratulations to members of the Edinburgh Cancer Discovery Unit (ECDU) at the ECRC whose paper entitled “Rapid Discovery and Structure-Activity Relationships of Pyrazolopyrimidines That Potently Suppress Breast Cancer Cell Growth via SRC Kinase Inhibition with Exceptional Selectivity over ABL Kinase” has been recently published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry” - a leading journal in the field of medicinal chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. The paper describes the development of a highly potent and orally bioavailable inhibitor of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase Src called, eCF506 (UK Patent Application GB1508747.1 submitted). In contrast to other Src inhibitors, eCF506 displays high selectivity towards Src tyrosine kinase without inhibiting many other kinases present in the cells. This is an important discovery because Src involvement in tumour progression and metastasis is well documented (Src was the first oncogene ever discovered in the human genome and its mutant constitutively-active form is transmitted by some oncogenic viruses). All other currently available Src-inhibitors (many of which are in clinical trials) do also inhibit other kinases, in particular Abl, which might result in lower anti-cancer activity in some tumour types and undesired side effects.
Dr Liz Patton, as part of an international team, has been awarded the L’Oréal Paris USA–MRA Team Science Award for Women in Scientific Research by the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). The award recognizes the collaborative efforts by top-notch female investigators whose research focuses on malignant melanoma. The award will allow the team, from Spain, the United States and Scotland, to identify mechanisms that distinguish and track fast-growing melanomas from those that are dormant and to mentor and empower new female researchers in the melanoma field. Dr Patton is part of the University of Edinburgh MRC Human Genetics Unit.