year approximately 2.3 million Americans are afflicted with skin cancer
in the United States. Although single tumor lesions can be treated with surgery
or radiation, treatment of multiple lesions using available topical agents
typically requires weeks or months of treatment. Furthermore, use of
currently available treatments, such as Fluorouracil, can result in blisters,
burning, sensitivity and scarring at the site of treatment due to nonspecific
targeting of tumor cells.
Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross and her co-investigators from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the Brody School of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry at East Carolina University have developed a novel method to treat non-melanoma skin cancer. The novel method employs treating cancerous cells with 15-deoxy-∆12,14-prostaglandin-J-ethanolamide (15dPGJ-EA), a potent antitumor metabolite of the endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamide (AEA).The mechanism of action of 15dPGJ-EA centers on the molecule's ability to elevate the level of ER stress in tumor cells. Once the level of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in tumor cells passes a certain threshold, apoptosis is induced leading to tumor death.
Metabolism of Anandamide
by COX-2 is Necessary for Endocannabinoid-Induced Cell Death in Tumorigenic
Keratinocytes. Molecular Carcinogenesis. PMID: 19148897
Dr. Allison Danell is an associate professor in the
Department Chemistry at East Carolina University. Research in the Danell Lab is
focused on fundamental studies and applications of mass spectrometry
technology. Click to Learn More...
Dr. Colin Burns is an assistant professor in the
Department Chemistry at East Carolina University. Research in the Burns lab
focuses on elucidating the metal binding motifs "natively unfolded" proteins
use and on characterizing the effect metal binding has on the overall structure
of the protein. Click to Learn More...
Dan Ladin is an PhD candidate in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at East Carolina University. working under the guidance of Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross.