The Scripps Research Institute - At The Forefront

October 2013

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Focus on:
Making a Cancer-Killing Compound

The compound ingenol, found in the milky sap of Euphorbia plants, can destroy pre-cancerous skin lesions. However, scientists have long been unable to find a way to synthesize the compound, and have even debated if such a synthesis is possible. Instead, they have had to rely on a lengthy process of extracting it directly from the plant – until now.

A laboratory team led by TSRI Professor Phil S. Baran has discovered a method to synthesize ingenol that could not only improve treatment for skin cancer, but also open a door to new treatments for multiple cancer types.

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Phil Baran

TSRI Professor Phil S. Baran (Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation).

TSRI’s research breaks new ground in the treatment of cancer, but our work depends on supporters like you. Donate now and help fund the next phase of our life-saving cancer research.

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Joseph Kissil

TSRI Associate Professor Joseph Kissil.

milestones in medical science:
Discovering a Protein's Link to Tumor Growth

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. A team of scientists from Scripps Florida, led by TSRI Associate Professor Joseph Kissil, has shown that a protein once thought to inhibit the growth of tumors instead helps initiate tumor growth in non-small lung cancer.

The discovery could lead to a new approach to treating cancer.

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Dale Boger

TSRI Professor Dale L. Boger.

Other News:
Improving Chemotherapy

Since the 1960s, the chemotherapy drug vinblastine has been one of the most successful treatments against lymphomas, as well as breast, testicular, ovarian, bladder and lung cancers. However, with extended treatment, vinblastine may evoke a powerful form of drug resistance, which has been a major limitation of the drug.

A TSRI team, led by Dale L. Boger, chair of the Department of Chemistry at TSRI, has discovered a way to modify the drug so it has up to 200 times more potency than traditional vinblastine, and – even more significantly – can overcome drug resistance.

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IRA Charitable Rollover Extended

Act Today! The IRA charitable rollover is set to expire on December 31. This provision allows taxpayers ages 70 and a half and older to transfer as much as $100,000 a year directly from an individual retirement account (IRA) to The Scripps Research Institute as nontaxable income. Learn more.

facts & figures

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 39,620 women and 410 men are expected to die from breast cancer this year in the US.

The Scripps Research Institute


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