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New class of anti-cancer drugs put cancers to permanent sleep

Thursday, 02 August 2018

Today, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) announced that they have discovered a new class of anti-cancer drugs that can put cancer cells into permanent sleep, without the harmful side-effects caused by conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy.

This medical breakthrough, a world’s first, has showed that it has the potential to put cancer cells to sleep, and as a result, arresting tumour growth and spread without damaging the cells’ DNA. It has shown great promise in halting cancer progression in models of blood cancer such as lymphoma and liver cancer, as well as in delaying cancer relapse.

No easy feat, this research effort was almost a decade in the making, requiring strong collaboration between experts in cancer research, medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

Bill Petch, CEO of the Leukaemia Foundation commented: “We are extremely excited about the potential of this new class of anti-cancer drugs for blood cancers like lymphoma, and how it prevents cancer cells from progressing while not causing damaging side effects.

“As Australia’s leading blood cancer organisation, the Leukaemia Foundation supports advances in science to develop new treatment options such as this to provide people living with blood cancer a better chance of survival and a better quality of life after treatment.”

“We congratulate the investigators involved, as it shows Australia is once again at the forefront of global medical research. We are hopeful that this new options will quickly turn into a reality to save countless lives.”

“While it has a long way to go, we will closely follow the status of this exciting advance,” said Mr Petch.

To read more about this medical breakthrough, please visit