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Potential Anti-Melanoma Compound Synthesized

Researches at the University of Alberta in Canada have synthesized a natural compound (palmerolide A) that they believe shows exceptional potential to specifically treat melanoma, a frequently fatal form of skin cancer. "The potency of palmerolide is exceptional and melanoma is a very aggressive cancer for which there is almost no chemotherapeutic recourse," said Dr. Dennis Hall, senior author of the report. "Natural substances like palmerolide offer real hope for such treatments. One of the problems with most cancer drugs is the lack of selectivity for cancer cells versus normal cells. Preliminary data for palmerolide A looks very promising in terms of solving this issue." Dr. Hall emphasized that "for commercialization, the structure needs to be made more 'drug-like;' smaller, and more water-soluble, while preserving the potency." The report was published in the October 14 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [Press release] [JACS abstract]