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Purdue researchers discover new cancer-fighting compound

I-Team 8: Purdue researchers find new cancer-fighting compound

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Researchers at Purdue University just announced a breakthrough that could revolutionize cancer treatment.

It took two years of hard work to synthesize the compound known as TP1L.

“It’s really a dream come true,” said Purdue professor Zhong-Yin Zhang, who led a team of researchers who discovered the new compound.

The compound is different from other immunotherapies that have been developed to fight cancer because it works on the inside of the cells and not the outside.

“Presumably work on a broadly, many, many different cancers, because it will leverage the cell, the immune system to attack cancer cells.”

The compound stimulates the existing immune system to fight cancer. “The immune system actually is supposedly be able to recognize cancer, or virus, but, in the tumor micro-environment somehow, some of the anti-cancer immunity got suppressed.”

Zhang agrees that it like the tumor was walking around with an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter, and this immunotherapy goes in and can take away that cloak and allow the immune system to do what it’s designed to do: attack tumors.

With the light bulb moment behind the team, the push begins to find a company to work with to get the cancer treatment over the finish line of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“We would like to look for a potential partner, both in biotech and a pharmaceutical company, to help us to translate that finding into the clinic,” said Zhang, the head of the Purdue Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.

Next, this compound is going to be tested in animals. If that goes well, then it will start going through human trials, and, if that goes well, it could get approved by the FDA and start helping all types of cancer patients.