Recently Professor Laurence Patterson has devised a method of using the toxicity of colchicine to kill cancer cells (by using it as a VDA [vascular disruptive agent] which prevents the growth of the supporting blood vessels of the cancer cells) but without the whole-body toxicity that using neat colchicine would bring. By binding the colchicine molecule to another huge molecule, he has made the combined molecule, provisionally called ICT2588, non-toxic until activated by a specific trigger within the tumour membranes. It is thus entirely innocuous by itself, but when it finds a tumour, its latent toxicity is unleashed by the cancer cells themselves; a clever trick which he calls a 'smart bomb'. The colchicine molecule is detached from its encumbent extra molecule and sets about its business of being locally toxic to the cancer cells, since there is insufficient for it to be toxic to the rest of the body. The Colchicine entity is shown in red. Note the sulfur atom, in yellow, and the spiro-1,3-dihydroxyxanthene molecule in green. There are a few polymerized amino acids (with nitrogen molecules in the main chain - which are then peptides) scattered along its length. The function of these units is not known to your Author save to enable the molecule to be recognised and altered by biochemical mechanisms within the cancer cells themselves. The cancer cells are thus the agents of their own destruction. The molecule is an engineered trap designed to mimic some other biochemical that the cancer cells are expecting to see, as far as the Author understands. When it finds it, it processes it, and in so doing un-leashes the colchicine moiety to go about its toxic business at the exact site where the cancer cells are located. Toxic effects will thus be localised.

WildFlowerFinder Homepage