One of Chemistry’s Assistant Professors, Dr. Xiaohua Peng, was featured in the 2015 edition of the UWM Research Report.
Current cancer drugs do not distinguish between malignant cells and healthy ones. In order to destroy tumors, drugs must target all cells in the body.
“There are many ways of treating cancers, but the common problems are the side effects, so the patients suffer a lot during the treatment,” says UW-Milwaukee bioorganic chemist Xiaohua Peng.
But new compounds developed by Peng are actually attracted only to the cancer. The compounds she has designed are activated by trademark conditions inside cancer cells – increased oxidative stress and hypoxia. This strategy allows the drugs to kill the diseased cells selectively.