This application aims at identifying and characterizing a set of lead therapeutic compounds against cancer (breast, lung and brain), based on current knowledge from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM has a very long tradition in the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases yet, in contrast to target-oriented Western medicine, TCM uses a holistic and synergistic approach, which can be very effective for complex medical problems. However, the exact composition of the compounds that exert the therapeutic effect is not known. As there is little understanding about the mechanisms of action of many TCM therapies, modern and multidisciplinary Biotech research (functional genomics/ systems biology) should be applied on appropriate and highly defined cancer models. The presented project will focus on the isolation and characterization of chemical compounds from TCM that show anti-tumoral efficacy. From a library of therapeutic compounds available, a set of lead therapeutic substances will be identified using high throughput screening technologies in appropriate preclinical cancer models. Moreover, their mechanism of action will be further studied using genome wide analyses. Finally, their therapeutic efficacy will be tested in appropriate animal models.
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