ECU Doctoral Student Earns Patent for Cancer Drug

By: East Carolina University

I got really lucky coming to East Carolina University to work on this. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, to be honest with you, and it was just kind of right place at the right time. It took me a year to synthesize this drug. What we found was that the metabolic part that we had synthesized was very effective at eliminating tumor cells but it really didn’t have too many effects on non-tumor cells. This is really, really important in terms of chemotherapeutic development because this how you decrease the amount of side effects you have. Our patent covers non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma skin cancer and also colorectal cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer usually is on the face because that’s what gets exposed to the sun the most and the surgery can leave you somewhat deformed or leave scars and stuff. We’re looking at formulating it for a topical use and we feel like that would probably be the safest way of administering the drug for its most effective use.

I started going to dermatology and interacting with patients. When I was able to put a face to cancer, it really motivated me to work harder and get this thing closer to the market so I can help these people. We think that this drug can offer an alternative approach as a chemotherapeutic agent and that it will do this at less cost in terms of side effects for the patients of eastern North Carolina. It’s just been fantastic. I can’t, words can’t describe what East Carolina has done for me as a scientist, as a professional and as a person.

So, I’m just really happy to have been able to have contributed something to the field of science.

ECU Doctoral Student Earns Patent for Cancer Drug

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