How Scientific Teams Develop New Anti-Cancer Drugs

Stand Up to Cancer Day 9/8/17

Did you know that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes? Are you interested in becoming a scientist working to discover effective treatments in the fight against this deadly disease? In this video lesson (3rd in a series by MIT and Harvard), students see how teams of doctors, biologists, and chemists work together to discover and develop new drugs to fight cancer. They will see the various steps of drug discovery using the example of a type of leukemia called CML, caused by a translocation that leads to production of the fusion protein Bcr-Abl, a mutant protein. It will show how a famous drug is effective in treating this disease. Students will be assigned careers and work in groups to analyze data obtained during the steps in the drug discovery process, including: identifying rearrangements in chromosomes of cancer cells, identifying potential drugs from photos of cancer cells treated with various chemicals, and determining the most effective inhibitors of cancer cell growth. While doing these activities, students learn about the careers involved fight against cancer.

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