Brad Hutnick Research Proposal Hypoxic tumors are solid tumors that have grown too quickly for the surrounding tissue to successfully nourish with oxygen and nutrients, and therefore are often partially composed of dead cells. While hypoxic, tumor cells release hypoxia-induced factor 1 (HIF-1), an enzyme that activates genes on DNA that allow the cells to proliferate under hypoxic conditions. Hypoxic cells make an attractive target for chemotherapies for several reasons; current therapies are ineffective in treating them, leading to many possibilities for treatment, and because their environments are so markedly different from healthy cells, thus possibly allowing targeting of drugs to the cells, or creating pro-drugs that function as anti-proliferative agents under hypoxic conditions (one such drug, tirapazamine, is currently in phase III clinical trials). Recently, a certain norsesterterpene peroxide isolated from a marine sponge, diacarnoxide B (DCXB), was shown to preferentially suppress hypoxic tumor growth
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