11 thoughts on “D34 – Weston

  1. Any idea where the bacteria infection came from? And do you think that without the infection and more results would show heparin to be more beneficial for chemo?

    1. Unfortunately, the bacterial infection affected the entire fly population and could have been caused for any number of reasons. Likely reasons include the food being contaminated and affecting the flies (too warm in the lab and growing bacteria, outside bacteria, etc.) and the large number of people working to prepare the model organism population adds to the likelihood of contamination. Because we know that there is prior research that proves heparin’s ability to inhibit multiple hallmarks of cancer (not just one), with more trials I would infer that heparin does have some ability to act as a chemo.

  2. Because it looked like your compound is most likely not a hit, if you were to do the whole process again is there another compound that you would like to test?

    1. Great question! We really are interested in studying various derivatives of heparin as most of the research done with heparin and its chemotherapeutic properties has been done with derivatives and not heparin in its original form. However, if we had to choose a different compound entirely, a compound that has already shown promise as a hit would be interesting to continue experimentation with. Originally, we had been debating between heparin and FK866 Hydrochloride Hydrate (a NAD and NAMPT inhibitor that has been considered a hit previously).

  3. What other compounds that are similar to heparin could be used in place that might serve as better candidates for chemotherapy drugs?

    1. I’ll reply to one of these since they are very similar questions: There has actually been little to no research done on drugs with anticoagulant properties and heparin is one of the first to offer promise as a chemotherapeutic. Anticoagulants are often used to treat co-morbidities in cancer like arterial and venous thromboembolism (blood clots) but have not been researched in depth. This is part of the reason we chose to research heparin. So, to answer your question, at the moment we do not have any compounds that are similar to heparin that might serve as better candidates for chemotherapy drugs and more research should be done on this category of drugs.

  4. What other drugs that are similar to heparin could you use in place that could have better potential for applications in chemotherapy?

    1. The results included on our poster were not affected by the infection. However, we prepared about 30 more vials to add to this initial data and all of those were affected by the bacteria.

    1. We do believe that the bacterial infection did make our results less credible as we weren’t able to perform as many trials as we would have liked. Additionally, the previous literature did not use Drosophila as their model organism and the anticoagulant effects of heparin have not been explored in this model organism. Finally, there has been very little research done on heparin so conflicting results are likely until more research has been done. All of these reasons are likely as to why our results differed.

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