Authors : M. BELJANSKI
International Journal of Oncology Vol. 7. supplement, p983, October 1995.
Available in English only
ABSTRACT: Selective targeting to diseased cells, ensuring nontoxicity for normal cells, are the master words for anticancer and antiviral therapies. Yet little progress has been made on these lines and adverse side effects are still the rule. After having designed a rapid and simple in vitro screening test (Oncotest), we were able to find a number of plant derived, chemically well defined substances which selectively inhibit cancer cell multiplication without affecting normal cells. Activity of these agents is based on the fact that, as we discovered after extensive comparison of DNAs from cancer cells and their normal counterparts, cancer DNA is characterized by its highly relaxed, destabilized secondary structure, within which H-bond breakage is evidenced by 260 nm UV absorption, always distinctly higher than that of normal DNA. Our anticancer agent easily bind to the “open” cancer DNA chains; in contrast, they do not bind to normal DNA chains, which are “closed” most of the time.