I’d like to apologize in advance for this newsletter being a little late, I’d like to outline some of the factors underpinning this. The more observant among you may be able to see that the photograph accompanying this article is not of me, but instead is one of a wonderful young man who could do with some help. The picture belongs to 25 year old Stephen Sykes, a splendid trombonist who unfortunately has been stricken with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We, as a Pharmaceutical community may become a little divorced from the “end user”, i.e. patients. Seeing Stephen’s story really brought home the value and importance of the work that we all do (or have done) in finding medicines to treat the seriously ill. I have felt humbled by the efforts of his family and friends to obtain treatment; I felt I had to contribute in whatever ways I can. Even if it is just to raise awareness. Stephen really needs two things: first is access to Nivolumab (which at the moment is not approved for treatment in the UK), so I would like to reach out to all of our BMS readers that may be able to help to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally important is the need for a Stem Cell donor and to that end, I would hope that if you live in the UK and are aged 18 – 55 and are in reasonably good health, you would contact DKMS at https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/swabforsykes to register. You can follow Stephen’s journey on Twitter @Stephen_Journey and under the hashtag #SwabForSykes. I hope that I’ll be able to sit and enjoy Stephen’s sublime trombone playing when I am well into my dotage.
Back to the newsletter now, I’ll outline the free articles available in this issue:
The first article (which actually deals with some of the science underpinning drug discovery) is from André E.S. Simões, Cecília M.P. Rodrigues and Pedro M. Borralho of Research Institute for Medicines Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, entitled: “The MEK5/ERK5 signalling pathway in cancer: a promising novel therapeutic target”. The article highlights the emerging clinical relevance of MEK5/ERK5 signaling as a therapeutic target and prognostic factor in several common types of cancer.
The second featured article is by Matheus H. Dias, Eduardo S. Kitano, André Zelanisand Leo K. Iwai of the Center of Toxins, Immune-Response and Cell Signaling (CeTICS), Instituto Butantan, Saõ Paulo, Brazil and Universidade Federal de Saõ Paulo (ICT-UNIFESP), Saõ José dos Campos, Saõ Paulo, Brazil and is entitled: “Proteomics and drug discovery in cancer”. This deals with how the field of proteomics has developed quickly over the past decade and outlines its application to cancer research and, hence, its considerable potential in the area of precision medicine.
Next, from Johanna N. Amunjela and Steven J. Tucker, of the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK comes a short review entitled: “POPDC proteins as potential novel therapeutic targets in cancer”. They describe how suppression of POPDC genes and proteins can cause in vitro and in vivo cancer progression; therefore targeting these proteins could benefit cancer therapy.
Last, but by no means least, is the article “miRNA nanotherapeutics for cancer” from Aditya Ganju, Sheema Khan, Bilal B. Hafeez, Stephen W. Behrman, Murali M. Yallapu, Subhash C. Chauhan and Meena Jaggi from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA. They describe how miRNA- based therapy is a promising new promising avenue in cancer therapeutics. However, delivery of miRNA to cancer cells is a challenge. In the article they discuss various nanotechnology-based delivery options for miRNA.
Steve Carney was born in Liverpool, England and studied Biochemistry at Liverpool University, obtaining a BSc.(Hons) and then read for a PhD on the Biochemistry and Pathology of Connective Tissue Diseases in Manchester University, in the Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Histopathology. On completion of his PhD he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, where he worked with Professor Helen Muir FRS and Professor Tim Hardingham, on the biochemistry of experimental Osteoarthritis. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. and held a number of positions in Biology R&D, initially in the Connective Tissue Department, but latterly in the Neuroscience Department. He left Lilly to take up his present position as Managing Editor, Drug Discovery Today, at Elsevier. Currently, he also holds an honorary lectureship in Drug Discovery at the University of Surrey, UK. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters and has held a number of patents.