Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, called malignant cells, in the body. The malignant cells grow out of the normal cells, this happens when the cells divide too quickly or when they “forget” how to die when the body no longer needs them ("Cancer - PubMed Health", 2012). There are many types of cancer and treatment varies just as well (depending on the type and the stage of the cancer). Throughout the years, research about the treatment of cancer has come to largely depend (although not exclusively) upon experts in the fields of biology, biochemistry and organic chemistry.
For example, in Arizona State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, one area of research in Organic Chemistry is focused on the development of anticancer drugs that are designed to combat drug resistance by cancer cells (Rose, n.d.). To combat the process of drug resistance by malignant cells, organic chemists are designing enzyme inhibitors that covalently bind to key cellular targets in said cells (such as the proteins involved in cell division). By doing so, interference with the target proteins will be irreversible even though excess drugs are “pumped out” by malignant cells (Rose, n.d.).
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