The goals of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program include the conception, design, and synthesis of new anticancer and antiviral agents; elucidation of mechanisms of action and resistance of anticancer agents; preclinical evaluation and toxicology of promising new agents; translational research bearing on radiation and chemotherapy; risk assessment of new therapies; and broader aspects of cancer etiology, prevention, and pathogenesis.
The program functions as a conduit for bringing discoveries in the basic biological sciences - generated from cancer-related molecular pharmacology and from the other research programs - to preclinical and clinical evaluation. More than half of our researchers are engaged in laboratory-associated clinical investigation.
The largest research program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program includes faculty immersed in the whole spectrum of pharmacological fields, ranging from drug development, drug sensitivity and resistance, molecular biology of drug action, cell signaling, chemoprevention, transcriptional regulation, neuropharmacology, antibody and cytokine therapy, and tumor antigens to the development of improved tumor assays.
In the near future, several discoveries from the laboratory will likely be tested in the clinic. The vaccine program, utilizing synthetic carbohydrate antigens, is being expanded and evaluated in breast, ovarian, and prostate tumors. Deoxyepithilone B will be evaluated further in preclinical models, and a pharmaceutical partner is sought for its clinical development. Gene therapy protocols using drug resistance genes will be written for patients with lymphoma and breast cancer. New treatment strategies for patients, depending on tumor phenotyping and genotyping, are also in development.